Gurudwara serves hot meals to Australian firefighters working to control bushfires

SYDNEY: A gurudwara in Sydney is being praised online after it supplied warm meals to the emergency responders who are fighting wildfires in the region.

Firemen with the Hornsby Rural Fire Brigade had just finished containing a fire in South Turramurra on Sydney's North Shore, when they were treated to home-cooked meals during a much-needed afternoon break. The meals were served by members of the Guru Nanak Gurudwara Turramurra Sikh Temple.

Members of the Sikh community dropped by with the food to express their gratitude to those fighting the fires.

"As the firefighting operations were drawing to a close at the Canoon RpadFire in South Turramurra, we were approached by members of the local Sikh community with donations of hot food for our firefighters," Captain Theo Klich told SBS News.

"They brought along two types of curry and water, and other residents also brought out water, juice and soft drinks," the captain said.

"We are grateful for these acts of kindness, however we want to acknowledge that they are not expected, as we are happy to do the job that we are tasked to do without payment or reward," the firefighter said.

After the sweet gesture by the Sikh community went viral, MP Jason Wood too thanked the group. Taking to Facebook, the minister wrote, "Helping mates. It's what Aussies do!"

The gurudwara also said it is open for all those affected by the fires and in need shelter or food.

More than 270 homes have been destroyed and 2.5 million acres (1 million hectares) of land have been ravaged during the past week due to wildfires.

The bushfire season has begun earlier than usual, in the southern hemisphere spring, and is expected to be long and brutal this year as a three-year drought has left broad swathes of Australia's east and west more susceptible to fire.

Looking to avert fatigue among firefighters, Western Australia has sent teams out to relieve tired crews on the east coast, and New Zealand has also sent up reinforcements.



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