Australia opener David Warner on Thursday said he is still in shock at the escalating horrors of the bushfire that has gripped the whole country. Warner also paid tributes to firefighters and volunteers who are putting their life at stake while trying their best to douse the devastating flames, terming them as the real heroes.

Australia is facing one of its most devastating bushfire crisis which has already left at least 18 people dead. In the backdrop of this raging crisis, Australia is set to host New Zealand in the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) starting Friday.

With heatwave expected to sweep across the country on Saturday, the umpires will take a call if the match needs to be suspended or delayed incase the smoke generating from the bushfire affects the air quality or visibility.

Disturbed by the horrors of the deepening crisis, Warner shared a picture of a person with a dog watching the devastating forest fire.

“I just saw this picture and I’m still in shock. When we go out to play tomorrow, not just the Australian team, but New Zealand as well, we never forget how privileged we are to live where we do and to do what we do,” he wrote on a social networking site.

“My heart, my family’s hearts are with you. These fires are beyond words. To every firefighter, volunteer to every family, we are with you. You are the real heroes. You do us proud,” he added.

Both the Australian and New Zealand teams will pay tribute to the firefighters and volunteers before the start of play on Friday and also wear black armbands as a mark of respect for the dead.

Cricket Australia has already announced that the upcoming ODI series in March between the two nations will be used to raise money which will go to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.