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Maps comparing size of Australian wildfires to US go viral

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A series of maps highlighting the size and scope of wildfires in Australia went viral after being shared thousands of times by Facebook and Twitter users worldwide, including the Sonoma County Fire District.

One of the maps pinpoints where wildfires are happening across the country, while the other two compare the size of Australia to the U.S. and Europe.

Lucky Tran, a scientist and media relations officer for Columbia University Irving Medical Center, shared the maps to social media from MyFireWatch. Established by the Australian government and Edith Cowan University, the website monitors wildfires throughout the country.

Tran posted the maps to Twitter on Dec. 31, and users have retweeted them 2,200 times from his account. The Sonoma County Fire District shared similar maps to its Facebook page on Saturday, and they've been shared 1,500 times.

"It puts it in perspective looking at the enormity of what they're dealing with over there," said Sonoma County Battalion Chief Fire Marshal Cyndi Foreman.

Twenty veteran firefighters from California are heading to Australia on Monday to help battle the flames, according to the Associated Press.

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