"Fight fire with fire" goes one of Metallica's most iconic songs, and now the thrash giants are putting an entirely new spin on those words, by joining the bushfire relief efforts in Australia. James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo and Lars Ulrich have pledged more than $500,000 to the cause, with their donation going to NSW Rural Fire Service and Victoria's Country Fire Authority (CFA). The bushfire crisis has been absolutely devastating: Nearly 18 million acres of land and some 2,000 homes have been destroyed, while at least 25 people and approximately one billion animals — including almost one-third of the koala population in New South Wales — have died.
"We are totally overwhelmed by the news of the wildfires sweeping through millions of acres across Australia, with major impact in New South Wales and Victoria," Metallica said in a joint statement announcing their donation. "The resulting destruction and devastating effects on all residents, animals, the environment and the incredible land in Australia is truly heartbreaking," the band said in a statement. "Please join us and do whatever you can to assist as we, along with our foundation All Within My Hands, are pledging A$750,000 to the NSW Rural Fire Service and to the Country Fire Authority in Victoria to aid in the relief efforts.
"NSW RFS is the world's largest volunteer firefighting organization and all funds donated during this State of Emergency are directed toward services related to and victims of these particularly destructive Australian bushfires," Metallica continued. "CFA (Country Fire Authority) is a volunteer and community-based fire and emergency services organization, which helps to protect 3.3 million Victorians, and works together with communities to keep Victorians safe from fire and other emergencies."