A man has died while fighting bushfires in East Gippsland in Victoria.
The contractor for the Department of Land, Water, Planning and Environment was killed after his vehicle rolled down an embankment in Gelantipy on Saturday.
WorkSafe is now investigating the death of the 69-year-old.
“Tragically one of the contractors working with us, supporting our firefighters on the fire line near the W Tree Snowy Divide Tract fire has died as a result of a car accident,” Emergency Management Victoria incident controller Peter Brick told the ABC.
“It really hits everyone hard. Our thoughts are with his friends, family, and all the workmates and colleagues.
“As you can imagine the firefighting community, including all our contractors, it’s quite a tight-knit community.
“Everyone tends to know each other in these parts.”
Fires in the area are now under control.
Meantime in NSW, an out-of-control bushfire burning in the south coast Shoalhaven region has almost doubled in size after being whipped up by strong westerly winds, prompting an emergency warning.
The fire at Currowan north of Batemans Bay has burnt through more than 11,560 hectares and is quickly spreading east.