Australia wildfires 040120 CREDIT REUTERS /  NO CREDIT NEEDED
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3,000 Australian Reservists Deployed To Tackle Worsening Wildfire Crisis

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country was "facing another extremely difficult 24 hours".

Australia wildfires 040120 CREDIT REUTERS /  NO CREDIT NEEDED

Three thousand Australian reservists have been called in to tackle the country's worsening wildfire crisis. 

The reservists will fight fires alongside thousands of full-time and volunteer firefighters, as well as fire service personnel from the United States and Canada.

Twenty-three people have been killed since the fires began in September, making it Australia's worst wildfire season on record.

As temperatures in western Sydney rose to 47 degrees Celsius on Saturday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country was "facing another extremely difficult 24 hours".

Saturday was expected to be one of the worst days of the crisis, with forecasters warning searing heat and strong winds could bring the flames to more populated areas.

Officials were concerned that a fire in a national park, just west of Sydney, had the potential to spread into the city's outer western suburbs.

Evacuees from Mallacoota are transferred to HMAS Choules to escape bushfires (Picture: Australian Department of Defence).
The Australian navy rescued around 1,000 people from the town of Mallacoota (Picture: Australian Department of Defence).

The deployment of the reservists comes after the Australian navy rescued hundreds of people from beaches in towns along the country's south-east coast.

Tens of thousands of people in New South Wales fled to the coast after being told to expect more bushfires in the coming days.

Military helicopters have also been helping with the relief effort.

The wildfires have burnt more than 20,000 square miles around the country - an area almost the size of Croatia.

At least 1,400 homes are believed to have been destroyed.

Cover Image: Wildfires have burnt more than 20,000 square miles across Australia.