Anna Kooiman on Australia wildfires: 'It's a heartbreaking situation'

An estimated 500 million animals have perished in the deadly wildfires that have devastated Australia, Anna Kooiman told Fox News Wednesday.

"I got to hold several eastern gray kangaroos that are meant to be in their mother’s pouch still and their mothers died in the blazes," she told "Tucker Carlson Tonight." during a report from Sydney's Taronga Zoo. "They have smoke and heat damage to their eyes. They’re being bottle-fed. It’s a heartbreaking situation."

The devastating fires have killed at least 26 people and destroyed 2,000 homes since September, so far scorching an area twice the size of Maryland. Australia's capital, Canberra, had the worst air quality of any major city in the world for much of Monday.

More than 135 fires were still burning across New South Wales Wednesday, including almost 70 that were not contained. Thunderstorms and showers brought some relief Wednesday, but also raised concerns that lightning would spark more fires before dangerously hot and windy conditions return.

Officials also warned that Australia's wildfire season -- which generally lasts through March -- was nowhere near its end.

On Kangaroo Island, a refuge for some of the country's most endangered creatures off the coast of South Australia state, teams had arrived to help euthanize livestock and wild animals injured in the blazes.

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"The koalas are the face of tourism here," said Kooiman, a former "Fox & Friends Weekend" host who now works for Australia's Network Ten. "You talk about folks wanting to come visit...It is our summer here. You can only imagine what this is doing to their tourism dollars."

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pledged A$2 billion to support relief efforts.

"You hope that will help the tourism industry and all of the folks here who are living and just devastated by this," Kooiman said.

A firefighters backs away from the flames after lighting a controlled burn near Tomerong, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, in an effort to contain a larger fire nearby.

A firefighters backs away from the flames after lighting a controlled burn near Tomerong, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, in an effort to contain a larger fire nearby. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

"You just can’t imagine what these folks are going through," she added. "It’s expected to continue for months. We don’t have any substantial rainfall forecasted anytime in the near future. And they’re reminding Australians to remain vigilant and to continue watching evacuation orders because these fires can spread super quickly at the drop of a hat."

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The wife and son of the late Australian zookeeper and popular television personality Steve Irwin -- also known as "The Crocodile Hunter" -- said earlier this week that they are helping the animals affected by the devastating fires.

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“We are taking what we can, we are doing emergency fundraising and building more facilities right now,” the owner of the Australia Zoo, Terri Irwin, said on “Fox & Friends.” “We’re at capacity right now for koalas, we’re over capacity for fruit bats and we are seeing a number of other animals.”

Fox News' Talia Kaplan contributed to this report.