HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Australia’s prime minister is cutting his vacation in Hawaii short after receiving heavy criticism for being away as New South Wales deals with raging fires that have killed two firefighters.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s office originally denied that he was in Hawaii, but on Thursday, he confirmed in a radio interview that he was indeed in the islands.
After the firefighters’ deaths were announced, Morrison issued a statement that said he would return to Australia as soon as possible.
“I deeply regret any offence caused to any of the many Australians affected by the terrible bushfires by my taking leave with family at this time,” he said, in a statement.
A state of emergency has been declared in New South Wales as firefighters struggle to contain the roughly 100 wildfires still active in the region.