During a season of extreme bushfires that have killed a billion animals and blazed through 10 million hectares of Australian bush, artists in the country's urban hubs have been paying tribute to those fighting the effects of the blaze.

On Sunday local graffiti artists painted a firefighting koala among the street art of Melbourne's Hosier Lane.

Raising money for the World Wildlife Fund's bushfire recovery project.

Under as sign reading "Hope" Andrew Gibbons and his team of street artists wrote a message, saying "today we are painting for a good cause" and asking for donations to the WWF wildlife and nature recovery fund.

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Koryu Aoshima, bottomr row, second from right, helped organise the Hosier Lane artwork. Photo / Koryu88
Koryu Aoshima, bottomr row, second from right, helped organise the Hosier Lane artwork. Photo / Koryu88

Their cardboard donation box raised just over $500, the artist told the BBC.

"We had a good number of people share encouraging words of support for what we were doing," the Melbourne based artist said.

The painting project was organised by fellow street artist Koryu Aoshima and attended by a team of nine artists.


"We did it basically because it was what we could do to help out, and beyond the money raised we hope the positive imagery does some good too."

The WWF Australia estimates 1 billion animals to have died since the beginning of fires in July.

The team of artists spent Sunday raising money for WWF Australia. Photo / @Andrewgibbonsart
The team of artists spent Sunday raising money for WWF Australia. Photo / @Andrewgibbonsart

Along with the damage to wildlife and native bush many people have lost their homes and property.

At least 28 people have died, some of whom where volunteer firefighters.

Australia's most famous landmark has been transformed into a bush fires tribute. Photo / Wolter Peeters, Getty Images
Australia's most famous landmark has been transformed into a bush fires tribute. Photo / Wolter Peeters, Getty Images

On Saturday the Sydney Opera House projected an artwork onto the building's white sails, with a sign saying "Thank You Firies."

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New South Wales has been badly affected by the blaze which has burned 2000 houses.

Arguably Australia's most famous international landmark, the Opera House designed by Jorn Utzon is the visible centre of Sydney's art scene. The arts centre also announced it would be hosting a comedy fundraiser in March that will contribute to fire relief efforts across the country.

Is it safe to visit Australia?

While the blazes continue the national tourism body Tourism Australia said it was "more important than ever that we rally around our communities and the tourism sector who may have been impacted."

Although the New Zealand MFAT Safe Travel website urges visitors to check local news and weather reports before travel, many areas and tourism businesses continue to operate as normal.

"Whilst bushfires continue to impact parts of Australia, many areas are unaffected and most tourism businesses are still open," said Tourism Australia in their statement on the current bush fires season.

Area specific information on bushfires and the latest news can be found on the relevant fire departments websites.