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.
The country as a whole has been working tirelessly, but they are in need of help. American firefighters, being the selfless people that they are, decided to fly out to the country in order to aid the people there. However, a terrible accident meant that 3 heroes have lost their lives...
Keep reading to find out the details.
Australia is being ravished by one of the worst bush fire crises the world has seen in decades.
via: Getty ImagesDue 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.
via: Getty ImagesThere 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. More than 5,000 buildings have been destroyed.
NSW declared a state of emergency last month.
via: Getty ImagesWhat 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.
Thirty-three people have been confirmed to have died in the fires since they started...
via: Getty ImagesIncluding several volunteer firefighters.
And it's not just the flames themselves that are having deadly consequences...
via: Getty ImagesLast month, the smoke was so bad in Sydney that air quality measured eleven times the "hazardous" level, CNN reports.
The fires have also had a devasting impact on wildlife.
via: Getty ImagesSeveral of Australia's native species have been affected including kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, possums, wombats, and echidnas.
And that's not all...It's feared that animals that managed to survive the flames will need huge amounts of humanitarian assistance to get populations anywhere near back to what they used to be.
Over one billion animals have died.CBS News reports that it's thought now over one billion mammals, birds, and reptiles have died since September.
The Australian fire services have also been struggling...Firefighters all over the country have been tirelessly battling the formidable blazes and are struggling to contain them, and the fire services are truly stretched to their limits.
Australia has ultimately been forced to make a global call for help...
via: Getty ImagesAnd 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 they even gave up their Christmases to help fight the raging fires.
Other countries offered their assistance...
via: Getty ImagesIncluding the U.S. and New Zealand, who have sent in more firefighters to try and help tackles the blazes.
Volunteers have been stepping forward all around the country...
via: CBCOrdinary people with regular professions have been volunteering to help tackle the flames and they have been working for free.
The assistance from global fire services has been very much appreciated...
via: Getty ImagesAnd the volunteers have shown incredible bravery to leave behind their homes and tackle the fires head-on.
This was the scene when American firefighters arrived at Sydney airport.
via: TwitterThis is the first time since 2010 that the U.S. has sent firefighters to help Australia tackle the blazes, Huffpost reports. Keep scrolling for the full clip.
There were around 100 firefighters sent to Australia from the States.
48 U.S. firefighters arriving in Melbourne to lend a hand to the rockstar Aussie crews battling bushfires day & nig… https://t.co/nrRZ84zv3s— usconsulatemelbourne (@usconsulatemelbourne)1578450042.0
However, I must bring unfortunate news...
via: Getty Images3 of those firefighters have been involved in a tragic accident that ended their lives after their water-bombing aircraft crashed.
The news was reported at 2 pm Australian time...
via: Getty ImagesThe New South Wales Rural Fire Service had “lost contact" with the crew of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules being used in operations in the Snowy Monaro area.
The cause of the crash has not yet been identified.
via: Getty ImagesBut further investigations into the crash will be carried out to determine the reason why it went off the radar.
The firefighters' identities have not yet been released either.
via: Getty ImagesAltogether, 7 firefighters have now reportedly died. RIP to the heroes. You will always be remembered.
Watch the full clip of the firefighters first arriving in the country:
US fire fighters arrived at Sydney Int Airport this week, on their way to assist with fire fighting in Victoria. Co… https://t.co/RyagX6PGzR— Shane Fitzsimmons (@Shane Fitzsimmons)1578559896.0