By Jasmine Kazlauskas
Australian firemen have revealed the terrifying reality of fighting ferocious bush fires – by releasing heart-stopping footage of them driving straight into the inferno.
The unbelievable video was filmed from the point of view of one of the firefighters who raced into the heart of fire-ravaged bushland to subdue flames which threatened to engulf in the rural town of Holsworthy, New South Wales.
Another amazing image from the weekend shows an adorable koala wrapped up in a firefighter’s jacket after being rescued from the blaze in Liverpool, west of Sydney and has racked up thousands of shares on social media.
The terrifying blaze has raged for nearly three days after igniting on Saturday afternoon [April 14] and quickly becoming uncontrollable.
It has already burnt more than 6,000 acres of bushland west of Sydney but miraculously so far has not caused any property damage, serious injury or loss of life.
But the bush fire – which was downgraded to ‘advice’ levels early today [MON], meaning there is now no immediate danger – is currently being treated as suspicious by New South Wales Police.
NSW Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told a press conference this morning offenders could face up to 25 years in prison.
He said: “One of the extraordinary results of this fire is that we haven’t seen any significant damage or loss of property.
“But at this stage, obviously we are treating it as suspicious in the absence of any other obvious cause.
“It is absolutely sickening and reprehensible.
“How dare anyone think they can deliberately light a fire, and endanger first and foremost all these men and women, the vast majority of who are volunteers and who are putting their life on the line to bring these fires under control, and in turn to put so many members of the community – be they people in homes or businesses or indeed the travelling public – at risk.
“It is a very serious offence and in New South Wales, we have some of the toughest penalties available. Up to 25 years in jail and a hefty fine if you are found guilty.”
Responding to the shocking video, one social media commenter said: “Clearly you guys and girls earn your money, and that’s a confronting way to show the community what your work day can be like.
“I’m serious when I say this – it’s a shame you aren’t paid equal wages as footballers and cricketers. Would seem appropriate.”
Another added: “Wow mad respect for those brave firefighters I can’t believe they are driving into that”.