Apartment dwellers in the city watch it unfold on television screens, from the comfort of their lounge chairs and in the cool of their air conditioning.
For those in rural areas, it feels more real. Residents are wondering if they’ll be forced to pack their dearest possessions and flee the bushfires, not knowing what they might come home to. If they’ll be able to come home at all.
But for the men and women in bright yellow suits, holding huge hoses and standing resolute, they are there in the place the rest of us are watching… dwarfed by the flames.
WATCH: Residents in Victoria forced to flee their homes today as bushfires burn, from Seven News.
‘Firefighters are heroes’ is a slogan we’re so used to hearing, it’s almost lost it’s punch.
But no longer. These images taken by Australia’s firefighters throughout this horrendous season – that’s seen Victoria and NSW plagued by uncontrollable bushfires – will remind you in no uncertain terms:
They are not images on our television screens. They’re not just ‘heroes’ in black and white headline lettering.
These are men and women in immense heat, fearing for their lives, at the front line of what surely must be hell.
They’re facing the flames, pushing them away, and bargaining with all their might with the wind.
Here’s a glimpse of what they live through, so the rest of us are safe.