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Australia wildfires: Chris Hemsworth donates $1 million to help firefighters and urges people to 'dig deep'

Actor says money will go directly to firefighters and communities in need of support

Chris Hemsworth has pledged to donate $1m (£524,952) towards helping local fire services and residents in Australia who have been affected by the worsening wildfire crisis.

On Tuesday, the actor shared a video on Instagram in which he highlighted the devastation the fires are causing and urged his followers to help in any way they can.

“Hey there guys, as you’re well aware the bushfires in Australia have caused massive devastation,” the 36-year-old said.

“They continue to burn, there’s warmer weather on its way, we’re really still in the thick of it here, as is plenty of challenging times ahead still to come [sic].”

So far, the fires have claimed 24 lives and have destroyed more than 1,500 homes, ravaging through more than four million hectares of land.

Last week, ecologists at the University of Sydney estimated that around 480 million animals had been killed in the wildfires, including 8,000 koalas.

The actor continued by revealing that he is making a substantial donation before asking his fans to “contribute in any way, shape or form”.

“Every dollar counts. That money goes directly to the firefighters, the people on the frontline, the people who have suffered, the communities that have taken a hit and who are in desperate need of our support,” Hemsworth added.

“I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who's sent all their well-wishes and donations already. It's greatly appreciated here in Australia.

“Dig deep, lots of love and we'll keep pushing forwards. Cheers.”

Hemsworth captioned the video with similar message, writing: “My family and I are contributing a million dollars. Hopefully you guys can chip in too. Every penny counts so whatever you can muster up is greatly appreciated.

“In my bio I’ve added links to support the fire fighters, organisations and charities who are working flat out to provide support and relief during this devastating and challenging time."

The star concluded by saying he is “beyond appreciative” to people who have shared their well wishes and donations.

Several high-profile celebrities have been using their followings on social media to help raise awareness and funds for local Australian fire services.

On Friday, Australian actor and comedian Celeste Barber shared photographs on Instagram taken from inside the house of her mother-in-law, showing a bright orange sky through her windows.

A fundraising page set up by Barber on Facebook has raised more than $27m (£14.3m) so far.

Other celebrities, including Selena Gomez, Pink and Nicole Kidman have also donated hundreds of thousands, while Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett led a number of Hollywood stars urging people to take action and support Australia as it battles the fires during their speeches at the Golden Globes on Sunday.

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