I'm sure you are well aware that there is a crisis happening in Australia right now. Estimates say the wildfires will leave more than 1 billion animals dead, and will cause the loss of 30% of koalas’ key habitat in New South Wales and potentially a third of the animal’s population in that region.
The fires have also left 25 people dead, caused the damage and destruction of more than 2,000 homes, and covered an area of 31,000 square miles.
As of January 9, 2019 there are currently 132 fires are burning in NSW, with 55 still not contained. There will be challenging conditions for firefighters today, with widespread Severe and Extreme fire dangers.
The U.S. is sending more than 150 firefighters and wildfire specialists to Australia to fight the ongoing wildfires that are devastating the Queensland and New South Wales regions.
“We face many of the same firefighting challenges in each country. We’ve utilized their expertise in the past and welcome the opportunity to reciprocate,” U.S. Forest Service Fire Director Shawna Legarza said in a statement.
48 U.S. firefighters arriving in Melbourne to lend a hand to the rockstar Aussie crews battling bushfires day & night. They’ll deploy to country Victoria to help our friends, just as they’ve helped us many times. ❤️🇺🇸🇦🇺 #USwithAUS #vicfires #AustraliaFires pic.twitter.com/H4x6eo6BpD— usconsulatemelbourne (@usconsulatemelb) January 8, 2020
The American firefighters who traveled to Australia this week were given a warm welcome befitting of heroes upon arrival in Sydney.
Shane Fitzsimmons, commissioner of the new South Wales Rural Fire Service, said that the lengthy round of applause reflected the gratitude & admiration Australia has for their generosity.
Some of the firefighters looked utterly surprised to be even noticed! I think this welcome was well deserved. They received the welcome they deserved!
US fire fighters arrived at Sydney Int Airport this week, on their way to assist with fire fighting in Victoria.— Shane Fitzsimmons (@RFSCommissioner) January 9, 2020
Coming through, all gathered gave a spontaneous & lengthy round of applause, reflecting the gratitude & admiration we all have for their generosity. #NSWRFS @NSWRFS pic.twitter.com/5epg5y4qxX