Australian authorities retrieve bodies of US firefighters from crash site

Australian authorities retrieve bodies of US firefighters from crash site
© Coulson Aviation

The bodies of three U.S. firefighters have been located after a deadly plane crash in remote Australia earlier this week. 

Police and investigators began their probe into the accident of the C-130 tanker plane on Thursday to determine the cause of the crash.

Captain Ian H. McBeth, 44, and Flight Engineer Rick DeMorgan Jr., 43, served in the U.S. Air Force. First Officer Paul Clyde Hudson, 42, was a former Marine. All men had prior experience with aircraft engineering and flight operations, according to Reuters. 

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Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoNo time for the timid: The dual threats of progressives and Trump Psaki: Sexism contributes to some criticism of Harris Mnuchin, Pompeo mulled plan to remove Trump after Jan. 6: book MORE shared his condolences with the victims' the families, saying: "These heroes exemplified the great American tradition of standing with our partners and allies."

The men were in Australia helping battle the deadly bushfires that are raging across the country. The most recent update from New South Wales Rural Fire Service shows there are 54 bushfires still burning and 20 that have yet to be contained. 

Since the start of the devastating bushfires in October, 33 people have died along with millions of animals and approximately 25.7 million acres of land.