Firefighter's GoPro shows battle to halt Australian wildfires

Video: Fireman Ben Wilson's footage shows his brigade tackling wildfires near Adelaide

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As firefighters begin to win the battle against a sprawling wildfire in southern Australia, an enterprising fireman strapped a GoPro to his helmet to show the extent of what they are up against.

Officials said on Tuesday that firefighters were starting to hold back the wildfire that has destroyed 38 homes and sent 23 people to hospital. The fire began last Friday and has already razed 12,500 hectares of farms and woodland to the northwest of Adelaide.

On Friday, senior fireman Ben Wilson decided to strap a portable camera to his helmet as he prepared to attend to some of the fires with his team.

The video shows the brigade travelling along a road with smoke and flames surrounding them, with the fire emitting a bright, almost sinister yellow glow. The firefighters can be seen dousing water on the fires as they pass.

The video then cuts to various other scenes of fires around properties and in woodland, with the firemen driving frantically around trying to put out as many of the blazes as possible. While the firemen have a lot of success, the scene they leave behind is one of charred buildings and scorched earth, the damage contained yet still evident.

The toll on the firemen is also shown, with Wilson violently coughing at the end of the footage as the extent of his smoke inhalation becomes horribly apparent.

Speaking on Tuesday, Country Fire Service chief officer Greg Nettleton said, "I'm happy to report we've made some significant progress on securing the outer perimeter during the course of the day and our crews will continue working into the night to secure the rest of the perimeter

Wildfires are common in Australia during the summer: in 2009, wildfires killed 173 people and destroyed more than 2,000 homes in Victoria state.

Additional reporting by the AP.

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