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Trump offers Morrison assistance fighting Australian bushfires

Jan. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. President Donald Trump offered assistance to the Australian government on Monday in its battle to extinguish dozens of bushfires that have ravaged the country's southeast, according to the White House.

The offer was made during a phone call with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Trump "expressed deep concern for those affected and condolences for the firefighters and others who lost their lives," according to the White House.

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Bushfires have been blazing across southeastern Australia for months, burning millions of hectares of land, destroying nearly 2,000 homes and killing at least two dozen people with few signs of abating.

Morrison in a tweeted thanked his American counterpart for his "strong messages of sympathy, support and friendship for Australia during our terrible bushfire season."

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The U.S. offer follows Morrison committing more than $1.4 billion over the next two years to aid with recovery efforts from the bushfires.

The rural fire service of New South Wales, one of two states most affected by the ongoing fires, said via Twitter Tuesday that 1,588 homes had been destroyed since the fire season began, 672 were lost since Jan. 1.

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