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A look at the Australian wildfires Canadian firefighters are helping to battle

Click to play video 'Kangaroo rescued from Australia guzzles from glass of water' Kangaroo rescued from Australia guzzles from glass of water
WATCH: Kangaroo rescued from Australia guzzles from glass of water

Dozens of Canadian firefighters will be spending the holiday season in Australia battling deadly wildfires.

Fifty-one Canadians are currently in New South Wales, where there are around 60 wildfires yet to be contained. Another 17 will be travelling there on Dec. 30.

More than 200 blazes are burning across four states in the country.

READ MORE: At least 68 Canadians to give up holidays at home, head to Australia to battle wildfires

More than three million hectares of land have burned in the country in the past few months, killing nine people and destroying nearly 1,000 homes.

About 850 of those homes were in New South Wales, which last week was paralyzed by a seven-day state of emergency due to the fires.

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The wildfires come amid record-breaking heat in the country — over 41 degrees Celsius — and a long-running drought in the country’s east that has created tinder-dry conditions.

Here’s a look at the fires and the damage left behind:

An aerial view of lines of fire retardant during a flight over Kurrajong Heights with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (unseen) as he tours bushfire-affected regions of the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, New South Wales (NSW), Australia, Dec. 21, 2019.
An aerial view of lines of fire retardant during a flight over Kurrajong Heights with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (unseen) as he tours bushfire-affected regions of the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, New South Wales (NSW), Australia, Dec. 21, 2019. Wolter Peeters via Reuters
In this image made from video, two people watch from a look out of smoke from wildfire, Monday, Dec. 23, 2019, in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia.
In this image made from video, two people watch from a look out of smoke from wildfire, Monday, Dec. 23, 2019, in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia. Australian Broadcast Corporation via AP
Helicopters dump water on bushfires as they approach homes located on the outskirts of the town of Bargo on Dec. 21, 2019 in Sydney, Australia.
Helicopters dump water on bushfires as they approach homes located on the outskirts of the town of Bargo on Dec. 21, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. David Gray/Getty Images
The sky is filled with smoke, and ash on Dec. 21, 2019 in Shoalhaven Heads, NSW, Australia.
The sky is filled with smoke, and ash on Dec. 21, 2019 in Shoalhaven Heads, NSW, Australia. Cassie Spencer/Getty Images

 

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A house and car damaged by Saturday’s catastrophic bushfires in the Southern Highlands village of Balmoral, 120km south west of Sydney, Australia Dec. 23, 2019.
A house and car damaged by Saturday’s catastrophic bushfires in the Southern Highlands village of Balmoral, 120km south west of Sydney, Australia Dec. 23, 2019. Mick Tsikas/AAP via Reuters
An aerial view shows a bushfire at Adelaide Hills near Adelaide, Australia Dec. 20, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media.
An aerial view shows a bushfire at Adelaide Hills near Adelaide, Australia Dec. 20, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media. Jackie Wood via Reuters
Rural Fire Service (RFS) crews engage in property protection of a number of homes along the Old Hume Highway near the town of Tahmoor as the Green Wattle Creek Fire threatens a number of communities in the southwest of Sydney, Australia, Dec. 19, 2019.
Rural Fire Service (RFS) crews engage in property protection of a number of homes along the Old Hume Highway near the town of Tahmoor as the Green Wattle Creek Fire threatens a number of communities in the southwest of Sydney, Australia, Dec. 19, 2019. Dean Lewins/AAP via Reuters
Police block the Old Hume Highway as a blaze jumps the road near the town of Tahmoor as the Green Wattle Creek Fire threatens a number of communities in the south west of Sydney, Australia, Dec. 19, 2019.
Police block the Old Hume Highway as a blaze jumps the road near the town of Tahmoor as the Green Wattle Creek Fire threatens a number of communities in the south west of Sydney, Australia, Dec. 19, 2019. Dean Lewins/AAP via Reuters
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Conditions for animals

The fires are also damaging the country’s wildlife, and have especially threatened species with rare habitats. The fires in New South Wales, for example, have essentially wiped out the prime habitat for the long-nosed potoroo, according to Science magazine.

READ MORE: Australia’s prime minister defends his government’s climate policy as fires rage

Animal sanctuaries and rescue organizations, meanwhile, are weighing whether to try evacuating threatened areas or risk staying to try to protect the animals.

Some regional koala and flying fox populations have been destroyed, while kangaroos, koalas and echidnas have been spotted seeking shelter in urban areas.

Six koalas sit indoors in Cudlee Creek, Australia Dec. 20, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media.
Six koalas sit indoors in Cudlee Creek, Australia Dec. 20, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media. Adam Mudge via Reuters
Kangaroos gather at a residential law as bushfires continue to spread, in Berrara Beach, Australia, Dec. 21, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media.
Kangaroos gather at a residential law as bushfires continue to spread, in Berrara Beach, Australia, Dec. 21, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media. Linda Robinson/Reuters

In New South Wales, an environmental group estimated more than 2,000 koalas had been killed as one-third of their habitat burned.

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A video posted on Facebook by firefighters in South Australia showed a firefighter giving water to a thirsty koala Sunday.

READ MORE: Video shows firefighter hand-feeding water to thirsty koala in Australia

A kangaroo was also spotted cooling off in backyard pool in a bush fire-ravaged region of Australia. While not known for their swimming skills, kangaroos do seek bodies of water in intense heat, though usually in the wild.

Help from Canada

The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre said that a contingent of 21 staff from a variety of agencies left Canada on Dec. 3 for a 38-day deployment in New South Wales.

On Dec. 19 a second group of 30 Canadians was sent in for a 38-day deployment in the fire zone, and a further 17 are leaving on Dec. 30 for about a month.

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In this image made from video, a sign offers thanks and a Merry Christmas in a destroyed residential area by wildfire, Dec. 23, 2019, in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia.
In this image made from video, a sign offers thanks and a Merry Christmas in a destroyed residential area by wildfire, Dec. 23, 2019, in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia. Australian Broadcast Corporation via AP

Crews from Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, Yukon, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. are assisting with a variety of tasks, including roles in command, aviation, planning, logistics and operations.

The Canadian help is a first for Australia, but Australian firefighters have stepped up to help Canada four times since 2015.

— With files from Reuters, The Canadian Press and The Associated Press