Australia is in the midst of one of the worst bushfire crises the world has seen. Since September, entire communities have been engulfed by relentless heat and fires. The flames are showing no signs of slowing down - which means only one thing... death tolls are rising.

Many firefighters have risked their lives to battle the blazes, with a handful even losing their lives.

The son of one of the firefighters who tragically died in the fires has received a bravery medal in his honor and the photos will break your heart (but not before they melt it).

Australia is being ravished by one of the worst bush fire crises the world has seen in decades.

Due to soaring temperatures and one of the worst droughts in years, the relentless fires have been burning since September. We're currently in January. Just let that sink in.

New South Wales is suffering immensely at the moment.

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There have been fires reported in every state, but New South Wales is truly taking a beating by bush fires and is undoubtedly the hardest hit. According to CNN, so far, in New South Wales alone, more than 900 houses have been destroyed.

NSW declared a state of emergency last month.

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What does this mean? Well, it grants "extraordinary powers" to the NSWRFS commissioner, including the authority to allocate government resources and direct government agencies in taking action, according to CNN.

The raging fires have had a devastating impact...

The BBC reported that close to fifty bush fires continue to burn in populated coastal and inland regions to the city's north.

17 people have been confirmed to have died in the fires since they started...

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Which is a tragic and terrible loss for the communities in Australia.

And it's not just the flames themselves that are having deadly consequences...

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Last month, the smoke was so bad in Sydney that air quality measured 11 times the "hazardous" level, CNN reports.

Australia has even been forced to make a global call for help...

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And it was Canada that was the first to respond and take action. The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, based in Winnipeg, answered the call for help after realizing the bush fire situation is expected to continue for many more weeks and gave up their Christmas to help fight the raging fires.

The Australian fire services have been stretched to their limits.

Firefighters all over the country have been tirelessly battling the formidable blazes and are struggling to contain them. Keep scrolling to see the heartbreaking pictures of the aftermath.

Other countries offered their assistance...

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Including the US and New Zealand, who have sent in more firefighters to try and help tackles the blazes.

But even with assistance from overseas...

There seems to be no end to the blazes. In total, more than 5.9 million hectares (14.6 million acres) have been burned, CNN reports. And those who escaped the flames have lost their homes, with all their possessions perishing to the flames.

How long could the fires actually be burning for?

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Sadly, Australia has only just entered summer, meaning temperatures could remain high for some weeks. In fact, temperatures usually reach their highest during January and February, so there may be no end in sight for months.

This is an awful amount of pressure on the firefighters continuously tackling the blazes...

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And it has proven to be too much for some.

2 volunteer firefighters lost their lives on duty 2 weeks ago...

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Deputy Captain Geoffrey Keaton and firefighter Andrew O'Dwyer, both from Horsley Park Brigade, tragically died when the truck they were in hit a tree and rolled off the road on December 19 in Sydney's southwest.

A service was held for the fallen firefighters...

via: NSW RFS

New South Wales Rural Fire Service held the service earlier this week, which was attended by Mr. Keaton's fiancee Jess Hayes, and young son, Harvey, as well as the RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons and the Australian Prime Minister.

The service was extremely emotional...

via: NSW RFS

And a beautiful tribute was paid to the 2 brave men who were trying their best to help their country.

A touching photo has been released by the NSW RFS...

via: NSW RFS

Mr. Keaton's young son, Harvey, was awarded a medal of honor  - a posthumous Commissioner's Commendation for Bravery and a Commissioner's Commendation for Service - to commemorate his late father.

Mr. Keaton truly deserves this honor.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison said they sacrificed their lives in the name of duty.
"They were bravely defending their communities with an unmatched spirit and a dedication that will forever set them apart amongst our most courageous Australians," he said.

They will never be forgotten.

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"Their sacrifice and service saving lives and saving properties will be forever remembered. I wish those injured all the best in their recovery," he went on to say.

All we can do is hope that the fires will begin to dwindle.

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RIP to the fallen firefighters of Australia, and we send our condolences and love to all of those affected by this terrible crisis.