Volunteer Firefighter Killed, Three Injured After Truck Rolls In Extreme Winds
A volunteer firefighter has been killed in the NSW southwest slopes after extreme winds caused their fire truck to roll over, the RFS said.
Two other firefighters in the truck were injured and have suffered severe burns near Jingellic.
The NSW Rural Fire Service said the firefighters were on duty at the Green Valley Fire about 70 kilometres east of Albury when the incident occurred.
"It's believed that the truck rolled when hit by extreme winds," the RFS said in a statement.
A spokesperson from RFS has told 10 News first the firefighter's family had been notified, and they are believed to be from a local brigade.
"It looks like a tornado might have hit them," they said.
A second RFS vehicle, working in the same area, was also blown over by the strong gusts, and had been transported to the hospital.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian shared her condolences for the affected families on Twitter, describing the situation as "heartbreaking". "A brave firefighter has lost their life protecting the community east of Albury," she wrote.
"Words fail at times like this."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was "devastated" at the news.
"This is awful news for the familes and our sympathies are with them," he wrote.
"These are testing times. We are so grateful for the courage and dedication of our firefighters."
The incident comes less than two weeks after the death of two other NSW volunteer firefighters who were killed while on duty at the Green Wattle Creek fire south-west of Sydney.
Deputy Captain Geoffrey Keaton and Firefighter Andrew O'Dwyer from the Horsley Park Rural Fire Brigade died when after their truck rolled when it was hit by a tree.
The Green Valley Fire is currently at an emergency warning level in the Great Hume area and is quickly spreading due to strong winds.
Residents in the area of River Road and Jingellic have been told its too late to leave, as RFS crews battle against the blaze to protect properties.
A severe weather warning for damaging winds has also been issued for the South West Slopes, as well as the Snowy Mountains part of the South Coast, Southern Tablelands and the ACT Forecast Districts.
Three other fires in NSW are also on Emergency Warning level on Monday evening.
The Werri Berri and Myrtle Mountain Road fires in the Bega Valley and the Dunns Road fire in the Snowy Valleys are all out-of-control and threatening communities, who have been told to seek shelter.
NSW is continuing to face extreme fire conditions in the ongoing fire emergency that has gripped the state.
Extreme fire danger warnings have been issued for the Illawarra and Shoalhaven and Southern Ranges for Tuesday.
Severe fire danger warnings will be in place on Tuesday for the Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney Region, Far South Coast, Monaro Alpine, Central Ranges and Southern Slopes.
A total fire ban has been declared for 11 districts.
More to come.
Contact the author: email@example.com