'Absolute Hell': Father And Daughter Fight Bushfire For Five Hours

Harrowing video has captured the intensity of a family's desperate fight against a bushfire on their property at East Gippsland.

India MacDonell shared the GoPro footage on Instagram where she described the long and exhausting fight to protect their family home in Goongerah.

"My father and I took a side of the house each, fighting off the embers that managed to spread incredibly fast straight up the hill we live on," MacDonell wrote.

You can watch the video at the top of this story.

India MacDonell described fighting the bushfire with her father as 'absolute hell'. Image: Instagram

While MacDonell said the property suffered extensive damage, the house was saved.

"The damage that was done to our property is insane, absolutely everything is burnt," she said.

"We lost a few shacks and other bits and pieces out the back but saved the house, shed, our cars, tanks and some-f***ing-how the garden."

MacDonell said she and her father Shaun battled the flames for five hours, ending up completely exhausted.

India is seen hosing down the family home. Image: Instagram

In the vision, a kangaroo can be seen hopping across the firefront.

"It was a long hard fight through thick smoke, starting around 6.30, and by 11.30 we were settling down trying to sleep," she said. 

It was absolute hell.

"We watched the fires take off south toward our other home in Orbost, only 80 kilometres away.

"To everyone out there who are under threat, get out if you can, stay safe, keep hydrated, and just bloody take care!!!"

India MacDonell shared footage of the fight to save her family home from bushfire in Goongerah. Image: Instagram / indi.argh


With cooler weather conditions, all fires in Victoria's east had been downgraded from emergency to watch and act alerts by 1pm on Wednesday.

But dry lightning has started new fires and there's a risk fires will continue to merge, including with blazes in NSW, particularly on Saturday when the fire risk will move back to extreme.

Residents and holidaymakers take shelter from on the Mallacoota foreshore on 31 December 2019. Image: Twitter/ @bluesfestblues

Premier Daniel Andrews on Wednesday said firefighters will be flown out of an isolated coastal holiday town near the NSW border so there can be a shift change.

"We've got choppers taking 90 firefighters out of the Mallacoota area, they can't be removed any other way -- we're essentially doing a shift change by the air," he said.

"We've never done that before, getting firefighters that are essentially isolated in that Mallacoota community out and fresh teams going in."

A supplied image shows a red sky as bushfires approached Mallacoota in East Gippsland on Tuesday. Image: Supplied via AAP

Andrews and Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said the situation had been unprecedented.

"I know everyone wants it to be simple. We do, too. It is not. This is a complex set of fires and the coming days and week also be very challenging," Andrews said.



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More than 500,000 hectares have been burnt as three fires in East Gippsland combined on Tuesday.

The blaze at Corryong in northeast Victoria on the NSW border is also at risk of spreading and merging.

With AAP.