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Fires have raged in the northern parts of NSW over the past few days as unprecedented fire weather has pushed across parts of Australia. One NSW Rural Fire Service firefighter has been critically burnt and their tanker destroyed by fire whilst actively fighting fires in Tenterfield.
The appliance, believed to be Tenterfield 7, was crewed by two firefighters when the suspected overrun occurred. Firefighter Neville Smith, 66, has received burns to his hands, arms, legs, back, face and airways.
He was transported to Tenterfield Hospital for initial treatment and then flown to Royal Brisbane Hospital where he remains in a critical condition.
“One of our firefighters’ in the local brigade at Tenterfield, Neville Smith, was involved in a serious accident… Our firefighter was treated at Tenterfield, stabilised, he was intubated before being airlifted to Royal Brisbane Hospital. He remains in the intensive care unit, and is likely to be in the intensive care unit for some time.”RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons
The other firefighter was uninjured – the Category 7 tanker was totally destroyed by fire. The photo of the appliance sitting in the burnt ground is harrowing.
You can see the burnt-out appliance in the field as people drive past the scene.
“We saw unprecedented fire danger ratings for NSW, never before have we recorded extreme fire danger conditions this early in this month of September. Normally you would expect those sorts of conditions as you come closer into the summer months.”RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons
We will update the post once more details are known around the firefighter and his condition, or ways in which people can assist.
Founder of Flashover with a 17 year career with multiple fire agencies. I spend my time chasing up leads, promoting good mental health and make the occasional Grumpy Firecom comic.