LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A group of firefighters received a warm welcome as they arrived at Sydney International Airport to help battle the devastating wildfires burning through Australia.
New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons shared a video of the men and women walking through the airport to a round of applause from onlookers.
“US firefighters arrived at Sydney Int Airport this week, on their way to assist with fire fighting in Victoria. Coming through, all gathered gave a spontaneous & lengthy round of applause, reflecting the gratitude & admiration we all have for their generosity,” Fitzsimmons tweeted.
US fire fighters arrived at Sydney Int Airport this week, on their way to assist with fire fighting in Victoria.
Coming through, all gathered gave a spontaneous & lengthy round of applause, reflecting the gratitude & admiration we all have for their generosity. #NSWRFS @NSWRFS pic.twitter.com/5epg5y4qxX
— Shane Fitzsimmons (@RFSCommissioner) January 9, 2020
On Monday, Jan. 6, 20 firefighters from different parts of the Los Angeles Metro area will fly to Australia to help battle the raging wildfires devastating the country.
The firefighters, many of which battled the Saddle Ridge Fire in October, assembled at the Little Tujunga Hotshot Station Monday afternoon and were due to fly out of Los Angeles International Airport later in the evening, said Forest Service spokesman Andrew Mitchell.
Firefighters with the National Interagency Fire Center took off for Australia from LAX on Jan. 2.
“Australian firefighters come over here to train with us to fight out fires, so we are returning the favor to them,” Mitchell said.
The firefighters will be in Australia for 35 days before they are rotated out.
More than 200 wildfires are burning in Australia’s two most-populous states. The fires have been devastating to Australia’s environment and wildlife, with almost a third of New South Wales’ koalas killed in the fires and a third of their habitat destroyed.