Footage shows ferocity of Australian bushfires

(File)
(File)

Incredible video has emerged showing the terror fire crews faced during a bushfire emergency in South Australia late last year.

It happened when a wind change suddenly turned the blaze back on them.

On November 25, just after 2pm, five South Australian fire crews raced towards a massive firestorm intent on protecting properties in the tiny township of Woolsheds.

They never made it.

A sudden wind change put them directly in the fire's path.

The appliance in front frantically reverses.

For three minutes, a lifetime to them, the crews are forced to wait.

A mayday call is then made after two firefighters leave the truck to turn on water pumps.

"I'm still in awe that they got out of that without any injuries. I haven't see fire behaviour like that in my career," Brenton Eden from the Canberra Fire Service said.

The fire travelled fast, fuelled by 90km/h winds and dried crops although that's also what saved the fire crews' lives.

"The fire passes pretty quickly because it's in stubble. That would not have been the case if that crew found themselves in a forest fire or a scrub fire."

He says the incident served as a warning to landowners to leave early.

It's been a devastating and deadly bushfire season in Australia.

The township of Yarloop was wiped out just a couple of weeks ago. Two men died.

This is what firefighters faced that night.

And more than 100 homes were destroyed along Victoria's Great Ocean Road on Christmas Day.

Fires are still burning right across this country. The most serious, right now, are dozens of blazes burning out of control in remote areas of Tasmania. It will be months before they are finally put out.

3 News

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz