Comedian raises $22 million-plus for fires
An Australian comedian who won over fans with her celebrity parodies on Instagram has helped raise a staggering $22 million to help fight deadly bushfires.
By mid-afternoon Sunday, Celeste Barber had raised more than $22.12 million from 530,000 donations, in three days.
Barber, who has 6.4 million Instagram followers, drew pledges from as far as the UK, US, France and Italy in her bid to raise $25 million for the NSW Rural Fire Service.
The comedian posted photos on Friday of a fire-red sky bearing down on her mother-in-law's NSW house.
"It's terrifying. They are scared. They need your help," she wrote on Facebook.
On Saturday, she reported her family was being evacuated: "I feel sick."
American pop star Pink has also pledged $500,000 for Aussie fire services.
"I am totally devastated watching what is happening in Australia right now with the horrific bushfires," the singer tweeted to her 32 million Twitter followers on Saturday.
"I am pledging a donation of $500,000 directly to the local fire services that are battling so hard on the front lines.
"My heart goes out to our friends and family in Oz fire services."
A separate fundraiser for the WIRES Wildlife Rescue service in NSW has raised more than $773,000 in one day, surpassing a $500,000 target.
There is growing global and celebrity support for bushfire fundraising efforts, with reality TV star Kim Kardashian West among those lending support by sharing social media links on how to donate.