Three Hero US Firefighters Die After Water Bomber Aircraft Crashes in Australia | 22 Words

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.

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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. More than 5,000 buildings 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.

Thirty-three people have been confirmed to have died in the fires since they started...

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Including several volunteer firefighters.

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 eleven times the "hazardous" level, CNN reports.

The fires have also had a devasting impact on wildlife.

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Several 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...

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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 they even gave up their Christmases to help fight the raging fires.

Other countries offered their assistance...

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Including 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: CBC

Ordinary 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...

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And 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.

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This 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.

The National Interagency Fire Center told the Los Angeles Times that “roughly 100 firefighters" had been sent throughout last month and early January, with “50 to 60 more planned to be dispatched" this week.

However, I must bring unfortunate news...

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3 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...

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The 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.

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But 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.

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Altogether, 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:

Let's just hope that all of the hard work and efforts of these amazing volunteers will eventually start to pay off. Keep scrolling to check out the pictures that truly sum up how devasting the bushfire crisis is. This is utterly harrowing...