How to donate safely to help victims in Australian wildfires

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The tragic wildfires in Australia have killed at least 27 and destroyed more than 2000 homes. All of that devastation leads to people wanting to help donate, but it also brings out scammers.

PHOTO: New South Wales state has declared a week-long state of emergency in response to the escalating bushfire threat, Australia, Photo Date: 1/2/2020 (Source: BBC News / YouTube)

Whether you are looking to help displaced families, wildlife or the firefighters battling the blaze there are a few things to keep in mind before handing over your money.

The Better Business Bureau recommends doing a little research before donating to a crowdfunding site such as Go Fund Me. It can be a red flag if there is a vague description of how the money will be used instead of a specific use for the funds. If the crowd funding site lists a specific charity, it is best to donate directly to that charity instead of going through a third party.

There are a number of American and Australian non-profits and charities to safely donate through-- including Australian Red Cross and World Wildlife Fund. A number of local fire brigades are accepting donations to help firefighters, but you must go through an Australian government website to donate safely.

For full list of Australian charities, U.S. non-profits and a link to help Australian firefighters click here.