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Australians Greeted Arriving US Firefighters With Spontaneous Applause

Ryan Ford 10 Jan 2020

If you're at all exhausted of hearing about the fires in Australia, just think of how exhausted Australia must be of fighting them.

At the most recent update, more than 240,000 people had been ordered to evacuate their homes, and since October, an area the size of South Korea had burned. Yeah, more than 25 million acres of land, as well as at least 27 lives lost and innumerable wildlife.

Australia's fire crews have been battling hard for a long time now, but they're not alone.

Twitter | @CFA_Updates

The battle is officially an international effort, with fire crews from Canada, New Zealand, and the U.S. all on the ground now, helping out the more than 3,300 Australian firefighters in numerous ways.

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And Australians have taken notice of all the help coming into their country.

As the latest batch of firefighters landed at the airport, when onlookers realized who the long line of blokes carrying heavy gear were, they broke out in spontaneous applause.

As New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons tweeted, "Coming through, all gathered gave a spontaneous & lengthy round of applause, reflecting the gratitude & admiration we all have for their generosity."

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It's a big deal.

This deployment of 100 firefighters joins 159 already in the country, making it the largest-ever crew from the U.S. dispatched overseas, Fox News reported.

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To say the international crews are a hit Down Under would be an understatement.

"They've been enormously welcome and they've fitted in really well with our teams here," NSW RFS's Rob Rogers told Fox. "They've been very popular."

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But the firefighters are just as happy to be able to help out where they can.

Alabama's Sean Snyder volunteered for a mission that will take him away from his family for at least 30 days, but his wife told CNN that he's excited about it.

"We are a public service family and believe in doing all the good we can," she said. "We are super proud of the work he is doing over there."

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Australian fire crews have helped out with American fires as recently as 2018.

The U.S. crews there now will not only be helping with wildfire management and aviation, but also joining the local crews fighting fires on the ground.

Unfortunately, it looks like the battle is far from over, with experts saying the blazes could continue to rage for "months," according to NPR.

If you'd like to donate to help Australia's relief efforts, there are many good, credible agencies, including the NSW RSPCA and the NSW Rural Fire Service. Donate to the RSPCA right here or to the NSW RFS right here.

h/t: Fox News, CNN

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