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Bodhgaya, Bihar, India – His Holiness the Dalai Lama in a message to the Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that with a sense of deep sadness that he would like to express his sympathies to the Prime Minister and the people of Australia for the bush fires that have devastated so much of their beautiful country.

 In the letter, the spiritual leader of Tibet wrote: “It is simply heart wrenching to learn about these ferocious infernos and yet so inspiring to learn about the personal bravery of so many volunteers who have come together as firefighters.

“May I offer my condolences to the families whose members have lost their lives as a result of the bush fires and to those many people who have become homeless after the fires caused unprecedented damage to property," the Nobel Peace Prize said.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that a great number of birds and animals have died in the fires, which in itself is very distressing," His Holiness added.

“At the same time, I would like to commend your Government, the respective state governments and territories for the efficient measures being taken to provide necessary support and assistance in dealing with these devastating fires and their consequences," His Holiness further said.

“May I also add that I am very heartened by generous gestures of solidarity of the global community in their support for the well-being of all those affected. This is an example of the oneness of humanity and its compassionate nature. On an individual level, each and every one of us must now take steps to counter global warming,” he said.

His Holiness concluded his message by saying; “As you may know, I have been able to visit Australia quite regularly over the years and I have been deeply touched by the love and affection that the people here have shown me, as well as the interest they have taken in my efforts to promote human values and peace of mind.”

Every state in Australia has been touched by fire since the season started in September. The fires have burned over 12 million acres, an area larger than Maryland. Four hundred and eighty million animals are estimated to be killed or badly injured. Thousands of people have been evacuated. At least 24 have died, according to Australian media reports.

This is just the midpoint of our normal fire season, which used to run from October to March but now is almost year-round. Some reports saying many are living without power in an evacuation center in Narooma, a town of 2,600 people on the east coast of New South Wales. Some say they unable to reach their families by phone.

Scientists fear many billions of animals may have been killed by the bushfires that have swept across Australia’s south-east. At least one species is feared extinct as scientists continue to raise their estimates for the animal death toll. Hundreds of billions of insects are also feared dead.