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Fires in Australia: Macron offers "immediate operational assistance"


The country has been ravaged by destructive fires since September.

Australia has been ravaged by deadly fires since September. In recent days, a new heat peak in the country has rekindled these fires, which have taken on an unprecedented scale. Faced with this devastation, Emmanuel Macron proposed Sunday "immediate operational assistance" from France.

"Solidarity with the Australian people in the face of the fires ravaging their country," wrote the President of the Republic in a tweet. He also said he called Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to offer help with the fires, "to protect people and preserve biodiversity."

Solidarity with the Australian people in the face of the fires ravaging their country. This morning, I called @ScottMorrisonMP to offer our immediate operational assistance to fight fires, protect people and preserve biodiversity.

- Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) January 5, 2020

Australian authorities said on Sunday that unprecedented wildfires that have been devastating entire regions of the country for several months have left a 24th victim and "considerable damage". Hundreds of properties were destroyed and a man died on Saturday, during one of the worst days since the fires started in September.

480 million animals decimated

According to a study by researchers from the University of Sidney, 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles have already been killed in the state of New South Wales alone. 30% of koalas, an emblematic animal of the country, have already disappeared, according to Sussan Ley, the Minister of the Environment.

Wildfires are pictured surrounding Sydney, Australia, as the International Space Station orbited 269 miles above the Tasman Sea on Jan. 3, 2020.

- Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) January 4, 2020

On Thursday, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his head of government castigated Emmanuel Macron's "silence" over the deadly fires in Australia. Critics of the French president during the fires in the Amazon in August and September last had been very badly received in Brasilia and caused a diplomatic quarrel between Brazil and France which was not settled.

Anonymous and celebrities are mobilizing by launching fundraisers or in the form of donations, for firefighters and fire victims. This is the case of tenniswoman Ashleigh Barty, for example, actress Nicole Kidman and singer Pink.

Source: leparis

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