FIRE crews from Herefordshire could be asked to go to Australia to help tackle the wildfires raging across the country.

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has already sent a group of fire specialists down under to see what assistance can be offered to support the ongoing battle against the wildfires.

They are part of a UK team coordinated by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and work will include looking at what type of support would be most useful and how long it may be required.

They will also look to make sure any further assistance is in line and coordinated with firefighting efforts currently underway in Australia.

"The visiting fire specialists will assess how the UK is best able to support our colleagues in Australia who are currently dealing with such overwhelming conditions," said Nathan Travis, chief fire officer of Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS).

"The group will consider what skills and expertise the UK can contribute to the massive effort required.

"Not just to fight the wildfires, but also to maintain the regular fire and rescue services needed throughout the country, by providing cover for the Australian crews who have been working tirelessly for so many weeks to try to end these catastrophic fires.

"While HWFRS has received no request yet, we will respond to any call to action made by the NFCC if our fire crews are able to provide Australian firefighters with any practical assistance.

"Our service vision is saving more lives and we are prepared to help our Australian colleagues and the communities they serve to do this, if required."

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The unprecedented fire crisis in south-east Australia has claimed at least 26 lives and destroyed more than 2,000 homes since September and has focused many Australians on how the nation adapts to climate change.

Military helicopters have dropped emergency supplies to towns at risk of being isolated by blazes fanned by rising winds.

More military personnel are on standby to help firefighters and emergency agencies, said the country's Prime Minister Scott Morrison.