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Military involvement escalated as bushfire crisis worsens

Military intervention in fighting bushfires raging across Australia has been escalated at the request of state agencies.

Helicopters and other aircraft deployed by the Defence Force will help drop supplies into towns in NSW and Victoria that have been isolated by the fires. Two navy ships are being sent to eastern Victoria to help with evacuations.

Black Hawk helicopters have already begun airlifting the sick and elderly out of Victoria’s bushfire zone.

As the government faces calls to further escalate Defence Force involvement, Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud insists they are doing everything they can.

“The Defence Force have been involved since November. Over 1000 ADF personnel have been there.

“The Defence Minister and I have also been wargaming that we may need to move army reservists where required… but we are only able to enact that when the states ask us to do it.”

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MP for Gippsland Darren Chester tells Natalie Peters and Erin Molan the ADF is helping evacuate people at Mallacoota where roads have been cut off.

“We’ve got a whole bunch of people who were there having a lovely holiday and now find themselves stranded because the road’s cut. 

“We’re working with the Australian Defence Force and I’ve got to say, they’ve been fantastic for us. They’ve got a few Black Hawks here from up further north, the HMAS Choules off the coast now is going to get involved and try and get people out on the boat.”

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Image: Getty/Sean Davey