Terrifying video taken amid the wildfires in Australia shows the moment a fire and rescue team became surrounded by a raging blaze in New South Wales.
The video was shot by a firefighter inside an emergency vehicle and shows the apocalyptic scene as crews travelled down a road near Nowra — about a two hour drive from Sydney — with a wall of fire just metres away and smoke creating near-zero visibility.
The Fire and Rescue NSW Station 509, from the suburb of Wyoming in the state of New South Wales, posted the video to twitter around 3 p.m. local time on New Year’s Eve.
“This video showing the moment their truck was overrun by the bushfire burning South of Nowra,” the fire and rescue service said.
“The crew was forced to shelter in their truck as the fire front passed through.”
Fire crews can be seen attempting to use materials inside the vehicle to reflect the heat as they shelter in the truck. The fire service said the crews were “ok” following the incident.
The wildfires burning across Australia have devastated about 5 million hectares (12.35 million acres) of land, killing at least 12 people and destroying more than 1,000 homes.
The annual fire season, which peaks during the Southern Hemisphere summer, started earlier this year following an unusually warm and dry winter. Record-breaking heat and windy conditions triggered wildfires in New South Wales and Queensland states on the eastern coast of Australia.
Police in New South Wales said Tuesday that two men, believed to be father and son, died in a house in the southeast town of Cobargo, while another man is feared missing.
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“They were obviously trying to do their best with the fire as it came through in the early hours of the morning,” New South Wales Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said. “The other person that we are trying to get to, we think that person was trying to defend their property in the early hours of the morning.”
Here’s a look at the fires and the damage left behind:
Additional firefighters from across Canada are headed to Australia to join those already there to help battle the devastating wildfires.
Stephen Tulle, duty officer with the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, told the Canadian Press a group of 15 set out for Queensland Monday, while another 21 will fly out later in the week.
The number of Canadian wildfire specialists stationed in Queensland and New South Wales will reach 87 by Jan. 4, Tulle confirmed.
The Canadian volunteers come from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon and Parks Canada.
It’s the first time Canada has made a co-ordinated effort to send firefighters to Australia. However, crews from Down Under have previously travelled here to help British Columbia handle widespread wildfires in 2017 and 2018.
—With files from the Associated Press