Australia bushfires: Departing Kiwi fire crew first overseas deployment for 2020

Twenty-one Kiwi firefighters will fly to Australia on Wednesday to help fight the country's devastating bushfires.

Their departure will mark the first overseas deployment for Fire and Emergency (FENZ) for 2020.

The bushfires, which have burned since October, have pushed Australian firefighters to breaking point, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison announcing over the weekend the Defence Force Reserves would also head to fire zones to offer assistance.

The latest FENZ deployment will bring the total number of Kiwis sent over since October to 179.

The 21-person task force will be made up of four five-person crews and a team leader. The team will join a liaison officer who departed for New South Wales on Tuesday.

The team will be made up of firefighters from around New Zealand.

Conditions in fire-ravaged areas have eased in the last couple of days, with scattered rain falling in some parts of the country.

Emergency workers were making the most of the cooler temperatures, working on backburning operations and strengthening containment lines.

The respite isn't set to last long, however, with extreme conditions set to return by the end of the week.