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Sydney Opera House Lights Up Sails With Tribute To Firefighters

The 2019-2020 bushfire season in Australia has been awful so far and with months of hot, dry weather still in the forecast, it's not going to stop any time soon.

While controversies around the government's response to the disaster and the role climate change has played continue to circulate, there is one thing everyone can agree on: the firefighters are heroes.

And it's important to note that most of those firefighters are unpaid volunteers.

Australia is home to the largest volunteer firefighting force in the world, with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service alone having over 70,000 volunteers.

Many of them are working their regular jobs all day before fighting fires long into the night.

Others are giving up paid work in favor of protecting the lives and homes of their neighbors.

Thankfully, some agreements have been made to compensate the volunteers as the crisis extends into multiple months and concerns have been raised that volunteer numbers will start dropping when bills pile up at home.

We all know the brave "firies", as Australians call them, will work as long and hard as they are able.

But that doesn't mean they don't need support to keep on doing so.

In a tribute to those firefighters, the Sydney Opera House lit up its famous sails with photographs depicting moments of solidarity and hope.

In addition, the Opera House has announced a benefit gala called "Comedy Steps Up for Bushfire Relief" to be held on March 16.

While that may seem a long way away, there are still weeks of fire ahead and a long road to recovery once all the fires are out.

It's just another in a long list of fundraisers and events being planned to raise money.

But the images on the sails are a way to let everyone know they are supported. Louise Herron, CEO of the Sydney Opera House said:

"We are lighting the Opera House sails to show our collective support for everyone affected by these devastating fires and to express our deepest gratitude to the emergency services and volunteers for their incredible efforts and courage.

"As difficult circumstances continue, we want to send message of hope and strength to the people of Australia."