US Firefighters Sent To Battle Australia Fires Receive Heroes' Welcome, Cheered Upon Arrival at Airport

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If you’ve spent any time online or listening to news in the past months, you’ve no doubt heard about the bushfires burning through Australia or seen the charts depicting just how much of the continent has been burned.

The disastrous fires have been going on for months now, and nearly half of them are still not contained. According to an update from the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, 137 fires were still burning as of Thursday evening.

In an attempt to combat the damage and save lives, more than 3,300 firefighters are out on the job fighting the blazes — including the largest group of American firefighters to fight fires abroad.

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According to Fox News, the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, said a total of 259 American firefighters are on Australian turf, with 100 arriving Thursday.

The most recent group of firefighters got a very warm welcome from the people at the Sydney International Airport when they came through the doors, and Shane Fitzsimmons, commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service, tweeted the video.

“US fire fighters arrived at Sydney Int Airport this week, on their way to assist with fire fighting in Victoria,” he wrote.

“Coming through, all gathered gave a spontaneous & lengthy round of applause, reflecting the gratitude & admiration we all have for their generosity.”

Autumn Snyder, the wife of assistant fire management officer Sean Snyder, told CNN it would be hard for the family to give up Sean for the month of service he’s signed on for, but that they are proud of him.

“We are a public service family and believe in doing all the good we can,” she said. “We are super proud of the work he is doing over there.”

“It’s so refreshing and gratifying to see them be welcomed and appreciated.”

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Rob Rogers, deputy commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service, told Fox News, “They’ve been enormously welcome and they’ve fitted in really well with our teams here. They’ve been very popular.”

And Australia will continue to need all the help it can get. With the conditions as fire-conducive as they are, the fight is far from over — especially near the township of Burragate, where winds were predicted to reach up to 60 miles per hour.

“We’re preparing for the inevitable risk that those towns may come under threat and if they do, we’ll be there to help defend them through the night,” Nathan Barnden, a divisional commander with the Rural Fire Service, said, according to Fox News.

“We’ve been warned that we could be up there ‘til the morning. … There is a risk that we’ll be cut off and we’ll have to stay there throughout the time.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking