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first_img MORE: Huge megafire threatens to form The homes of Beau Williams and his father Brian Williams were lost in the Noosa fires in November. Picture: Peter WallisMore from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus10 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market10 hours agoSocial media sites have also been inundated with offers of accommodation for family and friends needing a bed for the night. There’s a bushfire emergency accommodation public group set up for Canberra which already has 4,904 members.Accommodation sharing sites have opened up ways for bushfire ravaged communities to seek shelter, with Airbnb activating its Open Homes to help fire evacuees find emergency housing in New South Wales and Victoria. The offer also extends to relief workers and fire fighters. The Royal Australian Navy helping evacuate people from Mallacoota during bushfire relief efforts. Picture credit: AFP PHOTO/ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY.The Australian East Coast has been hard hit this bushfire season, with Queensland seeing fires start as early as September last year, continuing through to December, while New South Wales and Victoria now have extreme danger zones with whole communities on alert or evacuating. Writer Erin Riley was among those who’ve jumped in to help via her “Find a Bed” initiative.“The biggest challenge we have right now is getting the message out to people in need,” she told News Corp Australia. “Over 500 people have volunteered their homes, but it’s hard to get the message out to people who are stranded with limited coverage. The response from people willing to help, though, has been absolutely amazing.” Bushfire arrived into the township of Malua Bay, just south of Batemans Bay. New Year’s Eve. Picture: Alex Coppel.Thousands of Aussies have opened their houses, units and investment properties as free emergency accommodation for people fleeing devastating firestorms that raged across three states.Multiple sites have opened up with zero cost for emergency accommodation in properties normally listed for up to hundreds of dollars a night, while individuals have also begun co-ordinating online efforts to link those needing a bed with those offering accommodation. FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON TWITTER A bushfire reaching Lithgow in the lead up to Christmas. Picture: Tim Hunter.Her “Find a Bed” initiative registers those who need a place to stay, asking where they are and what kind of accommodation they need; and then connecting them to the closest matching offer of accommodation.“If you have a spare bed or room for animals: let us know and if someone who needs a place to stay that matches what you can offer registers, we’ll put you in touch with them.”The site said that “due to the urgency of getting people into accommodation, we can’t screen people”.“We will connect you via phone and recommend you have a chat before making a decision about offering or accepting accommodation.” People lining up to register for evacuation by HMAS Choules in Mallacoota during bushfire relief efforts. Friday January 3. Picture credit: AFP PHOTO/ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY/SHANE CAMERON.“If you’ve been displaced or are helping with relief efforts, you can book free accommodation between 1 January 2020 and 16 January 2020.”Airbnb hosts were protected under the company’s insurance scheme, which allowed temporary housing to open up to over 30,000 people since the emergency initiative began in 2012. The scheme started post Hurricane Sandy when “hosts decided to offer their homes for free to neighbours who were forced to evacuate”, according to the short term accommodation site. last_img read more