Chris Dickman, an ecologist at the University of Sydney told The Huffington Post:
“The original figure ― the 480 million ― was based on mammals, birds and reptiles for which we do have densities, and that figure now is a little bit out of date. It’s over 800 million given the extent of the fires now ― in New South Wales alone.
“If 800 million sounds a lot, it’s not all the animals in the firing line.”
With that, and while there are some signs that the scorched bush has started to recover in some areas, the fires still rage on, meaning that the crews trying to stop them need help.
That’s why firefighters from America have been sent over to the country, with 100 of them landing in Sydney to help the 159 already there.
New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons, filmed the event that saw the firefighters touch down in Sydney before their journey to Victoria. Upon entering the airport, the workers were met with cheers and applause from locals.
“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.”
In response to the daunting task they have ahead of them, one firefighter, John Szulc, told ABC News he wasn’t too ‘worried’ about it, saying:
“I’m not really worried, I think we’re well trained.
“We’ve got to learn from your local people in how we can do business and fit in with your system.”
The National Interagency Fire Center spokesperson, Carrie Bilbao, spoke about the training the workers had gone through during the run-up to their latest task, explaining that they’ve been briefed on the local wildlife and essentially, what snakes and insects to avoid.
If you want the help with the struggles over in Australia, you can donate to the WWF Australia Bushfire Emergency fund here.
Alfie Powell joined as an apprentice and was probably hired because he was likely the only person who applied. He's been blagging his way through writing articles for four years now and he's definitely showing signs of slowing down. When not writing for The Hook, Alfie finds time to indulge in his favourite hobbies, such as drinking and sitting down. You can contact Alfie at [email protected]Follow