Video: U.S. firefighters cheered at Sydney Airport

American firefighters received a warm welcome as they arrived to help battle Australia’s catastrophic wildfires

The Australian wildfires have been raging since September – the longest in the country's history – and the U.S. is sending hundreds of its own firefighters to assist with the flames. The two countries have a long history of trading wildfire assistance; read Chief Sam DiGiovanna's analysis of why that relationship is more important now than ever. 

By Laura French

AUSTRALIA — U.S. firefighters deployed to help fight Australia’s deadly wildfires were cheered by onlookers as they arrived at Sydney International Airport.

New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons shared the video of the firefighters’ arrival on Facebook, saying the applause reflected “the gratitude and admiration we all have for their generosity and assistance.”

The United States has sent more than 150 firefighters to help tackle Australia’s ongoing wildfire crisis and plans to deploy about 100 more in the coming weeks.

At least 25 people have died in the fires, including three volunteer Rural Fire Service firefighters. Two dozen people, including a firefighter, are accused of intentionally setting fires amidst the crisis.

In addition to the loss of human life, about 2,000 homes and about 500 million animals have been wiped out by the blazes.

US fire fighters arrive in Australia

This week, the latest team of fire fighters from the USA arrived at Sydney International Airport, on their way to assist with fire fighting in Victoria. As they came through the arrival gate, those gathered gave a spontaneous and lengthy round of applause, reflecting the gratitude and admiration we all have for their generosity and assistance. NSW Rural Fire Service

Posted by Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons on Thursday, January 9, 2020


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