18:53 GMT27 January 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Emergency Services Minister for the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) David Elliott will not cancel his planned vacation to the United Kingdom and France despite the ongoing bushfires in his country, ABC broadcaster reported on Friday, citing the minister's office.

    "I will continue to receive two briefings each day from the RFS [Rural Fire Service] Commissioner," Elliott said, as quoted by the broadcaster, adding that he would return home if the situation demanded it.

    Elliott's office has not disclosed the duration of his trip, but stated that his responsibilities would be temporarily given to NSW Prisons Minister Anthony Roberts, the ABC broadcaster reported.

    Since early November, Australia has been ravaged by serious bushfires, which have already killed nine people. The blazes have also destroyed hundreds of properties and more than two million acres of forest, including koala habitats.

    Earlier this month, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison cut his vacation in Hawaii short after it was reported that two firefighters had died while trying to extinguish the fires.

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