First-Person Firefighting Looks Intense

For the past few days, some of the worst bushfires in Australian history have been burning across the state of New South Wales. Hundreds of homes have been lost, and the fires are so big that my hometown of Canberra, 300km away, was blanketed in smoke for much of the weekend.

This is what it looks like fighting those fires. This footage was taken by a Rural Fire Service volunteer, who strapped a GoPro camera to his helmet while fighting a fire near Mt. Victoria in the Blue Mountains.

Things are looking so bad today that the RFS is warning of the potential for a "mega fire", as three of the largest blazes may link up.

Mt Victoria Fire [YouTube, via Gizmodo AU]


    You can donate via the salvation army.
    Up to date info on RFS web-site.
    The good news is the possibility of rain here tomorrow night.

      The rain brings its own problems. There are two high and low pressure systems converging over NSW in the coming days, which means there is a good chance of thunderstorms. Which could cause more fires. Unfortunately the worst days are still to come.

        Yes. I'd heatd of the thunderstorms. However I think the threat of the 3 fires linking up outweighs the possible concerns over new outbreaks. It's the wind that's our big concern. If it returns like it did last thursday things will be catastrophic.

          What were the wind speeds on Thursday?

            I'm not sure I think up to 100kmh at Katoomba - Springwood - Blaxland. From memory started up about 10ish till mid-arvo. Was so bad I couldn't walk my dog. It brang the powerlines down at Warrimoo which started the Springwood fire. A FB message from RFS went out. I went outside and you could see a plume of spoke - 5-10 mins later the entire northern horizon was engulfed in smoke etc. Very fast.

              4 kids, one of them 11yo, have been charged with starting some of the fires..... That's unbelievable.

              Yeah well fingers crossed the weather forecasts change because it ain't looking good. I was at home last Thursday, I told my boss I had to stay home to make sure my house didn't burn down, at the time I was making a joke about babysitting my kids, didn't realise how close to the truth that joke would be........

              Last edited 21/10/13 3:34 pm

                Well stay safe mate. The easiest way to get info I've found is to friend the local papers, ABC 702, NSW RFS, Blue Mountains LAC etc on FaceBook. Instant breaking news and community support etc I knew of the Warrimoo fire before SMS alerts etc. Could warn my friends family etc.

    I really need to go and find out what the current situation is, ashamed to admit that I've been too busy lately to pay attention to the news.

      Same here. I didn't realise it was so bad.

      Close to 100,000 hectares of land have been consumed by the fires. More than 200 homes have been destroyed in the Springwood fire alone, which is only the second biggest fire in the state currently.

      Up to date info at:

    It's so hard to believe, and kind of frustrating, that those two people were sitting in their cars trying to get out, when the fire was literally a few meters away from them.

    I know it moves quickly, but they should have been out already, if you leave it THAT late, you are only putting other peoples lives at risk.

      Yeah, I'm not sure what people actually think they can DO. Stand on the roof with a hose? Create a moat? Pack the kids and pets in the car and go on a holiday until everything is burned down. That's what insurance is for.

    has anyone ever thought of making a firefighting video game?

    It's getting pretty intense. If the three fires combine then they'll have to evacuate over 90,000 people - the largest in Australia for over 20 years I think.

    Unfortunately, this is just the start of a bad fire season. Everyone, know your neighbors, have a plan, and most importantly LEAVE EARLY. If its a Code Red day then get the hell out.

    And please support the agencies that help people recovery after these disasters -

    Plunkett is from Canberra! It explains EVERYTHING.

    We have a guy at work in the RFS. This guy battled blazes all night then rocked up to do his eight hour shift as a first aid officer at a theme park. Covered in burns and still in his scorched RFS uniform, he said his night was "tough" then went about his business taking care of children.
    People - and this absolutely applies to me - you can always do more.

    Brave volunteers. There's no way I'd be out in that sort of danger by choice.
    Pretty easy to get lost in that smoke, too ...

    Damn I didn't even know. Gosh maybe we need some serious pre-measures to deal with the seemingly inevitable bush fires that happen when summer starts, some back burning perhaps.

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