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Trump offers Australian PM assistance in fighting widespread fires

Trump offers Australian PM assistance in fighting widespread fires
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE on Monday offered to assist the Australian government in combating fires that have ravaged swaths of the continent during a call with the country's prime minister.

Trump spoke with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a White House spokesman said, and "expressed deep concern for those affected and condolences for the firefighters and others who lost their lives."

"President Trump offered United States support to assist the Australian government as it battles these terrible fires," the spokesman added.

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In a tweet, Morrison thanked Trump for his "sympathy, support and friendship."

"Thanks also to the American people for their many messages of support," Morrison tweeted. "Australia and the US are great mates."

Bushfires have burned millions of acres across Australia in recent months, destroying thousands of homes and killing scores of animals and at least 23 people, according to The New York Times.

The Australian government has deployed military ships and aircraft to deliver water and other resources and attempt to tame the fires.

Victoria and New South Wales declared states of emergency this week, and government officials have urged residents in certain areas to evacuate. The U.S. Embassy encouraged travelers in certain affected areas to leave immediately.

The fires have had residual effects across the continent, with smoke and ash causing additional pollution and impacting air quality.