American Firefighters Applauded As They Join The Fight Against Bushfires
American firefighters who landed in Australia ready to join the fight against the ravaging bushfires were met with a huge applause as they arrived at Sydney Airport.
The bushfire crisis blazing across Australia has so far destroyed more than 2,000 homes, killed at least 26 people and are believed to have killed at least one billion animals, but they’re far from over.
In a desperate attempt to get the fires under control, 100 firefighters from the US were sent over to support the 159 already over there, according to officials.
New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons, shared a video of well wishers waiting at the airport to give the new arrivals a warm welcome as they touched down in Sydney, before making their journey to Victoria.
He explained on Twitter:
As they came through the arrival gate, those gathered gave a spontaneous and lengthy round of applause, reflecting the gratitude and admiration we all have for their generosity and assistance.
One of the American firefighters, John Szulc, told ABC News he wasn’t too ‘worried’ about the task which faced them in Australia.
I’m not really worried, I think we’re well trained.
We’ve got to learn from your local people in how we can do business and fit in with your system.
Their arrival comes after 20 firefighters from Los Angeles’ National Forest were sent to Australia on Monday, January 6, by the US National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC).
NIFC is leading American wildfire fighting missions, however, has deployed some its firefighters overseas during winter months, including those shipped to Australia.
Fortunately, these personnel have plenty of experience in tackling forest fires and will be taking over from crew who have been there since the beginning of December.
Their spokesperson, Carrie Bilbao, said the firefighters were receiving training on the many insects and poisonous snakes they would come across during their mission.
The bushfire crisis, which has been going on for several months now, is believed to have destroyed at least one billion animals and may have even drive some species to extinction.
More than six million hectares of land have been burnt out by the blaze, affecting multiple states and millions of residents.
New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia are the worst hit states, with more than 1,300 houses having been destroyed so far in New South Wales alone.
You can donate to the WWF Australia Bushfire Emergency fund here.
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