As hundreds of firefighters battle deadly bush fires raging in the southeastern Australian state of New South Wales, Katherine Robinson-Williams is determined to be part of the effort — and she’s doing it while 14 weeks pregnant.

Over the weekend, Robinson-Williams, 23, shared a photo on Instagram showing her in protective gear and preparing to fight fires in the New South Wales town of Taree, roughly 200 miles northeast of Sydney.

In her caption, she wrote a note of encouragement for her fellow female firefighters and was resolute in her commitment to fight — even if onlookers criticize her decision.

“No I don’t care if you don’t like it,” she wrote. “This is my state in flames! I love my country I love my mates and if that means I’m needed on the ground Then I’ll always make the way”

About 6 percent of all firefighters worldwide are women, according to a Reuters report in April on female firefighters.

Robinson-Williams, who also works in child care, has been a volunteer firefighter with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service for 11 years, according to the BBC.

“I’m not the first pregnant firefighter, and I’m not going to be the last one,” she told the broadcaster. “I’m still in a position where I’m able to help so I will.”

While discussing her situation in a video interview with Reuters, Robinson-Williams said her doctors cleared her for fire service.

“They just said ‘make sure you’re wearing the correct [gear]’,” Robinson-Williams said. She anticipated working through her pregnancy until she is unable to continue, approximately around 30 weeks, she said.

“It’s not about me,” she added when talking to Reuters. “It’s about the crews on the ground, it’s about the community and making sure, if I’m able to get out there and do the job, I’ll do the job.”

In a separate Instagram post, Robinson-Williams shared a photo of her sonogram indicating she was still going to fires — along with her “little firefighter in the making.”

For the mom-to-be, firefighting is not only a calling but also a family tradition, as she told Reuters: Her parents, brother, grandmother, great-grandfather and uncle were all firefighters.

Her husband and her two brothers-in-law work in emergency fire response, as well.

As Robinson-Williams suits up for another week of fire fighting, she and other first responders face a daunting task of battling “unprecedented” fire danger.

On Monday, Australian officials declared a state of emergency for New South Wales, the country’s most heavily populated state. The bush fires have killed at least four people and destroyed dozens of homes in the state since Friday.

Wednesday night, the New South Wales Rural Fire Service said at least 61 fires were still burning, 35 of them “not yet contained.” And the fire service warned of worsening conditions Thursday, “with parts of NSW under Very High or Severe fire danger.”

More than 1,600 firefighters are working the blazes across the state, the fire service said.

As The Washington Post previously reported, Australia’s fire risk has risen since the 1950s across most of the eastern part of the country, which includes New South Wales — largely fueled by changing climate factors that lead to shorter wet seasons, scientists say.

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