The helicopters will start their journey to Royal Australian Air Force Base Edinburgh today and are expected to remain there until end of January, say local media.

The New Zealand Defence Force support will travel in an Australian Defence Force C-17 and New Zealand Defence Force C-130 from Ohakea Airforce Base on a number of flights from Monday to Wednesday, according to local media.

“This latest NZDF support is being provided in addition to the latest rotation of five NZDF Firefighters deployed to bolster numbers of emergency responders on the ground,” Defence Minister Ron Mark said in a statement on Sunday.

“We need to mention and thank those Defence Force spouses, partners and children whose holiday plans are being interrupted as their family members are being called back to assist our Australian cousins in their time of need,” Mark said.

The 2019–20 Australian bushfire season is of notable intensity compared to previous seasons, it has burned an estimated 6.3 million hectares, destroyed over 2,500 buildings and killed 25 people as of the 5th of January 2020.

The bushfires are regarded by some as one of the worst bushfire seasons in memory.

In December 2019, the New South Wales Government declared a state of emergency in New South Wales after record-breaking temperatures and prolonged drought exacerbated the bushfires.

It was estimated that close to half a billion animals were impacted by the ongoing fires.

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David Buckley

The UK should offer help via the RFA.


Agreed, I’m genuinely surprised we haven’t done anything; but maybe we don’t have a lot of the required equipment? We don’t have to deal with these kinds of fires int he UK, we’re more geared towards flood disaster response. Maybe what we can provide just wouldn’t be useful? You’d think that they could at least send some personnel to assist with evacuations and medical care etc. though.

Daniele Mandelli

I find it amazing that the world pledged 600 million plus to Notre Dame, yet where are the pledges here? Or have I missed them? Huge areas are alight and it is a catastrophe for animals that I cannot bare to think about. Seems the wrong way round to me.

The Artist Formerly known as Los Pollos Chicken

Agreed man, alas the social justice lovies and wealthy elite have no concern for bushfires or real people no no sir only fine art and historic buildings are worthy of such donations


There’s a women on twitter selling nude photos of herself for a $10 donation to help OZ

Currently raised over a half a million

Think she’s the biggest single source of donations so far to help Australia

Think that tells a lot of the current sorry state of this world, in more ways than one.

Oscar Zulu

Australian comedian Celeste Barber has raised a staggering $36 million in just three days for the Australian bush fire relief after she set up an appeal via her Facebook and twitter pages which went viral.

There are calls for her to run the country. I’d vote for her over that oxygen thief masquerading as our current PM!

Harry Bulpit

Wouldn’t it be great if we could send an infantry battalion out there. Along with armed forces fire fighting and medical units, along with the usual uk aid stuff. Imagine the impact it would have for post brexit negotiations, with are commonwealth friends especially Australia. Plus i also like the statement from the defence minister, thanking the forces families. Its nice to see Miltary families getting the appreciation they deserve.


I’ve wondered in the past if cobham could design a adaptation of the hercs pallet based refuelling system as a firefighting system, turns every transport aircraft in the world with a rear door into a water bomber

Harry Bulpit

Would be good. Although i know there are drop in fittings for c130 to become fire bombers. Would definitely be a useful system to invest in. Even two systems would be a massive increase in capability for dealing with these things.

Daniele Mandelli

Exactly Harry!! Just this sort of thing.

Send Infantry to Africa too to kill poachers – big time.

Harry Bulpit

Why not. Definitely think we need to start doing some more low intensity deployments with the UN and alike. May help retainment if the soldiers got some metal in their chest.


This disaster will make the staunchest Ozy think long and hard about the viability of remaining in the affected zones of Eastern Australia. I can understand New Zealand’s policy of lending these choppers plus anything else their neighbour requires. What is worrying, is the reality these fires could become an annual event, as the globe warms to even higher temperatures? The same scenario appears to be facing the folks of Califonia, and the need to consider how people can live in areas of potential forest fires in the future?

James M

Interestingly, California’s fires were worsened by the relative lack of fires in the years leading up to it, which resulted in more dead brush and vegetation on the ground than ususal. This fuelled the fire, making it hot enough to burn live trees as fuel and get even hotter. Fire is a natural part of the ecosystem in many places, the problems happen when us humans intervene. It’s a similar story in Aus, where scheduled and routine back burning couldn’t happen as summer temperatures got too hot too quickly, leading to more fuel being avaliable to the current fires.


The prime reason Paradice was largely burned to the ground, was the belief, that building such a conurbation surrounded by forest was mainly devoid of fire risk. Maybe that is a bit disingenuous to the town’s folk, but sadly, lessons must be learned. The Australian situation is very similar and good tree management could reduce some of the risks? In the UK some large flooding has been due to a lack of good drainage management? Global warming is just exacerbating the above issues.

James M

Completely agree that the human tragedy is due to us building homes in stupid places, and climate change is definitely making things worse. Aus hit record breaking temperatures right at the very start of their summer, and it’s only going to get warmer.


I lived in Oz for 4 years and bushfires are considered part of life there. And so there was a fair amount of early complacency. But this is as bad as its ever been and the Oz govt sleepwalked right into it. Now they’re pulling out all the stops… 3000 reservists called up, request to other countries for help. This articles about the Kiwis, France is supposed to be readying assistance, Singapore is deploying 2 Chinooks, more US firefighter teams (50 already in country) are supposed to be sent. Even Papua New Guinea is considering assistance. Everyone’s pitching in. And… Read more »


I saw an article that said the area impacted was the size of England. How do you even begin to fight a fire that size, its like tackling a fire with a water pistol, all they can do is evacuate and hope the weather changes.
Sad for all of the wild life that’s been destroyed, properties can be rebuilt, but it is bound to impact people wanting to live there.
Regarding global warming, I’m interested to know how much carbon a fire that size releases into the atmosphere as it must dwarf man made pollution even if it is temporary.


The link below gives an in depth overview of the crisis to date, including an estimate of the CO2 released – 350 megatons! The estimates are that it will take 100 years to re-absorb that amount of carbon and there could still be months of burning to go. But that amount of CO2 released by the fire is nothing to the annual emmisions humans produce on an annual basis – 36 GIGAtons!!!! So sorry BB85, human stupidity still trumps nature by a factor of 100 at the moment or 36ish if the fire keep burning for another 6… Read more »


That’s interesting and worrying at the same time.

I agree on the water issue, it baffles me how some countries/cities are not already fighting wars over water. Mega Cities in LA, Mexico City, Dakar, Dubai how do they produce enough water for millions of people. The human population has well exceeded what the world can support. Maybe the Chinese have the right idea.


“Maybe the Chinese have the right idea.” Not sure which idea you are alluding to there, but they have managed to trash a very significant portion of their water supply. I did some open source research about industrial pollution and excessive water extraction in China and what I found was truly scary. You’ve seen pictures of farmers planting rice in the paddy fields right across the Far East I’m sure. Bare footed farmers up to their knees in muddy water. Well in many parts of China they now wear Wellington Boots – why? Because the water is so polluted extended… Read more »


I was referring to their 1 child policy. But yeah Asia is in a terrible state and so over populated and corrupt. You would think their left wing socialist governments would do a better job of regulating the industries to save their own people. All about the $

James M

1 child policies bring their own issues, such as a huge imbalance in the workforce, meaning either lower pensions or higher retirement ages (neither of which will be popular in any democracy), and in China, it resulted in a huge gender imbalance too, with considerably more boys than girls. Most western countries have ageing populations anyway, so looking at it on a country by country basis, they would have declining populations if not for immigration (which doesn’t change the total number of people in the world so doesn’t have a huge impact). For the west, the key will be to… Read more »

Oscar Zulu

The ADF has been providing logistic assistance and airforce, army and navy air lift since the beginning of the fires, but the federal government has (belatedly) ramped up ADF assistance with a formal call up of the reserves and deployment of amphibious ships in a Dunkirk style rescue of people trapped on beaches in coastal towns. This pic of HMAS Adelaide conducting flight operations under a surreal orange sky and shocking visibility shows helicopters with their landing lights on. It was taken in the middle of the day. The scale of the bush fires is unprecedented and hard to… Read more »