METALLICA has pledged $750,000 AUD (approximately $516,000) to NSW Rural Fire Service and the Victoria Country Fire Authority to help the victims of Australia's devastating bushfire crisis.
The band said in a statement: "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. The resulting destruction and devastating effects on all residents, animals, the environment and the incredible land in Australia is truly heartbreaking.
"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.
"CFA (Country Fire Authority) is a volunteer and community based fire and emergency services organisation which helps to protect 3.3 million Victorians, and works together with communities to keep Victorians safe from fire and other emergencies.
Learn more about NSW Rural Fire Service and how you can help at this location.
Learn more about Victorian Country Fire Authority and how you can help at this location.
At least 25 people have died since the fires began in September. Nearly a billion animals have perished, and hundreds of homes and habitats have been destroyed.
Although the fires are believed to have started naturally, experts think human-caused climate disruption has exacerbated hot, arid conditions that fuel the growth of such blazes.
Since Australia is only just entering its summer season, with temperatures peaking in January and February, the fires in the country could last for months.
METALLICA was scheduled to tour Australia last fall, but the shows were canceled after frontman James Hetfield was admitted to rehab.
Other musicians who have donated money to bushfire relief include Elton John, who has pledged $1 million, and Kylie Minogue, who has pledged $500,000.