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More Canadian firefighters set up in Australia to help battle large bush fires

Last Updated Dec 22, 2019 at 7:53 am PST

FILE PHOTO - Rural Fire Service crew engage in property protection of a number of homes along the Old Hume Highway near the town of Tahmoor, New South Wales, as the Green Wattle Creek Fire threatens a number of communities in the southwest of Sydney, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019. Australia's most populous state of New South Wales declared a seven-day state of emergency Thursday as oppressive conditions fanned around 100 wildfires. (Dean Lewins/AAP Images via AP)
Summary

A team of 30 Canadian firefighters is on the ground in Australia to help combat devastating wildfires

The team includes six staff from the BC Wildfire Service who left Vancouver on Thursday

All together, there are 51 Canadian fire-fighters in the country

NEW SOUTH WALES (NEWS 1130) – Thirty Canadian firefighters are spending their holidays battling brutal bush fires in Australia.

The fresh team will be based in New South Wales for a 38-day deployment, where strong southerly winds fanned more than 100 fires alone Saturday, with one blaze scorching more than 460-thousand hectares.

It brings the total number of Canucks helping the fire-fight to 51, with an earlier team already in Australia.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian says some communities have been completely wiped out.

“It is devastating not knowing whether your property is standing or not. Unfortunately, we have received bad news; there is not much left in Balmoral.”

As of Sunday morning, two volunteer firefighters have already died fighting the large blazes.

Meantime, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has returned from vacation after a whack of criticism for his absence during the wildfire crisis.

Morrison acknowledged that climate change has contributed to the devastating fire season.

“Our government has always, and I have always acknowledged, the connection between these weather events and these broader fire events and the impacts globally of climate change climate change,” he said.

On Thursday, New South Wales declared a seven-day state of emergency as thousands of firefighters battled wildfires across the state.

Over 7-million acres of land have burnt throughout the country in the past few months.

Six people have died, and more than 800 homes have been destroyed.

The conditions have reignited the debate on whether Australia’s conservative government has taken enough action on climate change. Australia is the world’s largest exporter of coal and liquefied natural gas.

Outside Morrison’s Sydney residence Thursday, Australian protesters camped to demand action on climate change.

-With files from The Associated Press