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Australia, Backburn - The art of fighting fire with fire

In Australia, some 60 fires have broken out across the state of New South Wales. Three major fires are burning in and around Sydney's Blue Mountains and holding the region in a heightened state of emergency.

The fires, which started mi-October, have already burnt out nearly 50,000 ha of bush land and destroyed some 200 properties. Burning largely in inaccessible terrain, the fires have remained defiant to the efforts of some 90 water fighting aircraft.

Throughout the night, when conditions are right for firefighting, the men and women of The Rural fire Service – known for being one of the world’s largest volunteer fire fighting forces in the world- use the Backburning, a firefighting technique that consists literally in “fighting fire with fire”. The fire fighters ignite the bush land to send fire back on an advancing fire front to reduce the fuel load and deprive a fast running firestorm of its energy source.

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