An exhausted Australian firefighter has told Prime Minister Scott Morrison to ‘go and get fucked’ as devastating bushfires continue to rage across the country.
At least 23 people have died in the fires, with authorities warning the worst is yet to come as temperatures continue to soar – hitting 43°C in Canberra and 48°C in Penrith – further increasing the risk.
Throughout all of this, Morrison has remained noticeably absent and even jetted off on holiday to Hawaii – all while denying the bushfires are linked to climate change – rightly sparking outrage among those in the midst of the catastrophe.
One firefighter in particular told the prime minister exactly what he thought of him:
The firefighter, who had been battling house fires in the village of Nelligen, New South Wales, made his feelings clear during a report by 7 News Sydney earlier today, January 4.
The unknown man, who collapsed shortly after saying, ‘tell the prime minister to go and get fucked,’ explained as he laid on the ground: ‘I’ve lost seven houses in Nelligen. I’m not going to lose anymore.’
Another firefighter looked straight at the camera and addressed Morrison, simply saying:
Stand down now.
The short clip of the man’s fury has since gone viral, and reflects much of the anger many Australians and others from around the globe are feeling about the situation.
Masses of firefighters continue to do everything they can to put out the flames but with more than 100 fires continuing to burn across the states of Victoria and New South Wales alone, resources are lacking.
Approximately 1,500 homes have been lost to the fires, which have been burning since September and have destroyed over 5.25 million hectares (13 million acres) of land since they began. A devastating estimate also suggests almost half a billion native Australian animals have died as a result of the fires.
In a press conference held earlier today, the Australian prime minister called up around 3,000 army reservists to help battle the fires, stating, as per the Independent: ‘We are facing another extremely difficult next 24 hours.’
In recent times, particularly over the course of the balance of this week, we have seen this disaster escalate to an entirely new level.
But his actions are too little too late for many, who can’t help but question where their prime minister has been while their homes and lives as they know them are destroyed.
Some have even tried asking him that very question, with residents in the town of Cobargo – which was struck by a fire on Monday, December 30, killing two local farmers and destroying the town’s entire main street – confronting him about his lack of action.
Rather than offer his condolences and respond to their concerns though, Morrison simply fled, swiftly making his way to a waiting car which sped away while residents continued to demand answers.
With authorities warning the worst is yet to come and the Bureau of Meteorology warning conditions will deteriorate rapidly as strong winds and smoke plumes from the fires trigger dry lightning storms and fire tornadoes, many have been forced to evacuate.
Of the fires burning, 16 in Victoria are rated at ’emergency’ and ‘evacuate’ warning levels and 12 in New South Wales are rated ’emergency’.
Our thoughts are with all those affected by these devastating fires.