AUSTRALIA (WTHR) — A surveillance video shows how terrifyingly fast the Australian wildfires have been tearing through forests. Within 90 seconds, the picture goes from what appears to be a calm, clear scene to an inferno.
The video recorded on Jan. 4 about 145 miles south of Sydney was posted on Facebook Tuesday by the Dunmore Rural Fire Brigade. The post says the firefighters were not expecting it to arrive for another 10 minutes, but circumstances changed dramatically.
The scene starts with firefighters milling around their vehicles along a two-lane road. There are no flames to be seen and a hint of smoke in the skies. There are trees on both sides of the road. On the left side, there is also a fence and utility poles.
Within 15 seconds, you start to see firefighters jogging around and loading into their vehicles.
Thirty seconds into the video, the skies become markedly darker as black smoke rolls in.
One minute in, the day has mostly turned to night. Ash can be seen falling in front of the camera and flames appear to the right side of the picture as the firefighters speed away.
At 90 seconds, the smoke becomes black and orange from the flames. More ash and embers are seen flying around as the fire draws closer.
Two minutes in, the fire has jumped the road. All you see are flames and a heavy dose of embers swirling around. Seconds after that, the video appears distorted from the heat and gas — that distortion you often see when looking through a campfire, but it is so heavy that it's hard to make out the picture.
That continues for about another minute. Once it clears up, you see flames now burning on both sides of the road.
The video is a frightening reminder that when you are told to evacuate from a wildfire zone, get out immediately.