Theweekendleader

Aussie military specialists deployed to help combat bushfires

Sydney

27-December-2019

Australian military specialists were being deployed to advise firefighters aimed at combating the blazing bushfires that have been wreaking havoc in the country since August, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday.

Defence liaison officers of the Australian Defense Forces (ADF) would be deployed in all 14 incident control centres in New South Wales state, the worst-hit by the fires that could worsen in the next few days due to rising temperatures, reports Efe news.

"We'll continue to do everything in our power to ensure our fireys have the resources and support they need," Morrison said in a statement.

He added that if needed, the military would also provide bulldozers, bulk water carriers and troops to help tackle the fires.

According to the statement, the ADF was already assisting in the firefighting operations by providing helicopter search and rescue operation, ground transport, accommodation, meals and re-fuelling.

At least eight people have been killed by the bushfires, which besides NSW, have also affected the states of South Australia, Victoria and Queensland.

At least 1,000 houses have been destroyed by the fires, with 800 houses and more than three million hectares of land being burned in NSW alone.

The efforts have been joined by more than 72,000 volunteer firefighters.

Morrison, a strong advocate of the country's coal industry, has faced widespread criticism against his alleged leadership failure in combating the fires and the lack of measures reduce greenhouse gas emissions and undertake a transition to clean energy.

The worst fires in Australia occurred in the southeastern part of the country on February 7, 2009 often referred to as "Black Saturday", when 173 people died in what is considered the worst natural disaster in the country's modern history.IANS