SOUTHAMPTON, Australia — Balingup volunteer fire captain John Guest has spoken out about his close call to highlight what he says are serious safety deficiencies in fire appliances provided to volunteer crews.
Mr Guest and his two crew were trying to contain a blaze that jumped a fire break on Tuesday at Southampton, north of Manjimup when they became trapped inside the truck by a wall of "intense flames'' for about 40 minutes. A similar incident claimed the life of mother-of-three Wendy Bearfoot, who was killed while fighting a fire in 2011 when a change in wind direction turned flames on her truck in Albany.
"Every thing around us caught on fire,'' Mr Guest said. Surrounding us was a combination of flames, smoke, embers, breaking branches and strong unpredictable winds."
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