'Almost apocalyptic': American firefighters battle Aussie wildfires

Firefighters from the U.S. are making a difference combating the massive bush fires ravaging Australia, former "Fox & Friends Weekend" host Anna Kooiman said Thursday.

Appearing on "Fox & Friends" with hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade, Kooiman reported that while much-needed rain is pouring down on Australia, firefighters still warn that the dousing is not enough to reverse the damage.

The fires, fueled by drought and the country’s hottest and driest year on record, have been raging since September, months earlier than is typical for Australia’s annual wildfire season. So far, the blazes have killed 28 people and nearly half a billion animals, destroyed 2,000 homes, and scorched an area of more than 25.5 million acres -- roughly the size of South Korea.

AUSTRALIA WILDFIRE AREAS MAY SEE THUNDERSTORMS, HEAVY RAIN AS SMOKE IMPACTS AUSTRALIAN OPEN

According to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, more than 100 U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Department of the Interior wildfire personnel have deployed to assist with ongoing fire suppression efforts, joining 159 who were already in Australia.

The bush fires mark the largest-ever deployment of American firefighters abroad and harken back to 2018 when more than 140 wildfire personnel came from Australia and New Zealand to help douse wildfires in Northern California.

"Balmoral [in New South Wales] was almost apocalyptic. The smoke was really thick. It was like being in a dream," National Smokejumper Manager for the U.S. National Forest Service Roger Staats told Kooiman. "You never expect a house across from a fire station to burn down because you run out of water. That's what happened."

"It's just a massive wall of fire," said U.S. Army veteran and freelance firefighting aviator Alain Brackmort, who pilots one of the more than 100 waterbombing aircraft used on a daily basis in the state of New South Wales alone.

"I represent the U.S. and it's a good feeling to know that we're here and we can come here and support the Australians," he said.

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New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told Kooiman that to have the "generosity coming from overseas and bolstering our numbers, bringing in all that extra expertise" is genuinely appreciated."

"What it really shows is that firefighters across the globe all do the same thing," Staat remarked. "We're all in this together."

Fox News' Greg Norman, Travis Fedschun, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.