The Canterbury University Student turned accidental firefighter in Australia’s mega-fire

A Kiwi forestry intern-turned-firefighter is working 24-hour days to protect his adopted New South Wales community. 

Fergus Simpson, 22 is currently over in Australia for a forestry internship. Little did he know that he would end up being part of a team fighting the fires at the front.

You've got 30-40 metre high flames surrounding you and the speed at which it comes at you and the noise, the heat is just unbelievable.

Fergus spoke to Newshub about how they kept fighting the fires after long shifts by celebrating some victories.

"This was on a day when overnight the fire was about 100km, there was no stopping it. It was the worst fire conditions [his colleagues] said they had ever seen." 

Simpson and his crew used everything they could find to dampen down the house, the tanker, sprinklers and garden hoses and then they waited. They were just 15 minutes ahead of the fire front, and embers were already raining down on them. 

"We had to pull out and it was really depressing because we thought bugger we lost [the house]. But we came back the next day and the house was still standing. So there are some little victories amongst it."

Simpson's internship ends in mid-February when he will return home to Christchurch. But for his adopted community, there is no escape.

Source: Newshub