SYDNEY: As Australia battles historic bushfires on its east coast, a New South Wales (NSW) firefighter who is 13 weeks pregnant has vowed to continue fighting the blaze.
Posting pictures of herself on Instagram on Monday (Nov 11), Kat Robinson Williams, 23, wrote: “For all the females on the ground in NSW right now. We stand together we stand proud!!”
“No, I don’t care if you don’t like it,” she added in the post which was followed by comments voicing support and encouragement.
The firefighter also posted a sonogram of her 13-week-old baby.
Ms Robinson-Williams was warned against going ahead with her decision by friends, she told the BBC, adding that her doctor had given her the go ahead as long as she wore the “right equipment”.
"My mum was also pregnant during the fire season of 1995. It kind of runs in the family," the BBC quoted her as saying.
"When I was young, my grandma made a toddler size firefighter outfit for me."
She added that she was not the first pregnant firefighter out combating fires and neither was she going to be the last one.
Bushfires are common in Australia's hot, dry summers, but the ferocity and early arrival of the fires in the southern spring this year has caught many by surprise.
The blazes have claimed three lives and destroyed about 2.5 million acres (1 million hectares) of farmland and bush, fuelled by extremely dry conditions after three years of drought, which experts say has been exacerbated by climate change.
No deaths were reported on Tuesday as warning systems and evacuation plans appeared to save lives in the face of what officials said was the greatest threat in at least a decade.