Australia launched its largest military operation since World War II this weekend, not against a human enemy but to combat the bushfire crisis sweeping the country. Thus far, 23 people have died as 140 blazes have devoured more over 12 million acres.
To combat the fires, which are only expected to get worse as Australia endures high temperatures and windy conditions, the government is mobilizing 3,000 army reservists, aircraft, and naval ships to help evacuations and fight fires, the New York Times reported Saturday. “It is the first time that reserves have been called out in this way in living memory,” Defense Minister Linda Reynolds said. The conflagrations now and in the future are expected to worsen due to climate change.
Dalmeny Beach right now #NSWfires @9NewsSyd pic.twitter.com/FOH5uG9eFF
— Ruth Wynn-Williams (@RuthWW) January 4, 2020
Terrifying photo by #Wonboyn NSW local (Ian Williamson) of the Nadgee Nature Reserve on fire 😱 #SouthCoastFires #NSWfires pic.twitter.com/gFUImwyVVt
— Quentin Wallace (@QuentinWallace) January 4, 2020
Residents flee to a field in Batlow NSW as fire emergency continues. For updated warnings visit @NSWRFS #NSWfires pic.twitter.com/anBZ45T02G
— Daniel Shaw (@DanielShawAU) January 4, 2020
Batemans Bay residents are now evacuating to the beach, these are the scene captured a short time ago.
LIVE COVERAGE: https://t.co/7oP3HkcPse
LATEST RFS INFORMATION: https://t.co/OUj0yszjdF
📸 – Alistair Prior. #9News pic.twitter.com/jsfk1m8aRu
— Nine News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) December 31, 2019
Look, they don't know which way to run from cars, but they sure know which way to run from fire #NSWfires #bushfirecrisis 🤞 pic.twitter.com/EguanpLJq0
— Mitchell Lyons (@mitchest) December 30, 2019
Here are more images of the relief efforts and devastation in Australia.