When a photographer became a volunteer firefighter

Two volunteer firefighters cut down a tree using a chainsaw as flames burn around themImage copyright
Cam Neville

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Cam Neville’s photo series will be a finalist in Australia’s Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize

Cam Neville looked out through the truck as well as caught a glimpse of burning red lines leading to a location called Hellfire Pass.

This particular was his first night volunteering with the local fire brigade, as well as the Australian photographer felt anxious. What was he about to encounter?

“Certainly I had a flutter of nervousness,” he told the BBC. “Growing up in England, I’d never seen anything quite like in which.”

He did not get near the blaze in which night, although since then he has encountered others.

Australia depends an army of volunteers to protect its sprawling country through devastating bushfires.

Mr Neville signed up to join them on Queensland’s Gold Coast hinterland, believing This particular was the only way he could take photographs through the front line.

Firefighters battle a blaze on a hillImage copyright
Cam Neville

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Volunteer firefighters battle gruelling blazes in Australia each year

A firefighter walks along a roadside, framed by the red flow of distant lightsImage copyright
Cam Neville

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More than 0 weather records were broken during the nation’s summer

The inspiration behind his award-nominated picture series Into the Fire was simple: to capture first-hand experiences of men as well as women fighting fires. This particular was something TV news rarely offered, he thought.

“I genuinely wanted to know who these people were,” Mr Neville said. “I think I genuinely needed to experience what they all went through as well.”

Mr Neville grew up in Brighton before moving to Australia as well as settling in south-east Queensland.

“Where we live there are houses in which back onto very dense bush,” he said. “The fire threat will be very real.”

Volunteer firefighters start a controlled burn in Australian bushlandImage copyright
Cam Neville

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Fire seasons are getting longer, studies show

A firefighter, seen in silhouette, attends to a controlled fire using a rakeImage copyright
Cam Neville

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Mr Neville says he has great admiration for fire crews

Initially he carried two DSLR cameras with bulky lenses, although This particular quickly proved impractical. at This particular point Mr Neville uses just one camera using a 25mm lens.

He takes shots in quiet moments between fighting fires.

The photographer says the project has also brought him practical skills as well as fresh friendships.

  • Australia summer broke 205 weather records

“I’ve learned in which This particular’s an incredibly complicated as well as dangerous business – fighting fires of any type or size – because This particular’s unpredictable,” he said.

His admiration for his colleagues has only grown.

“The call goes out as well as people answer,” Mr Neville said. “They never know what they’re going to.”

Photographs by Cam Neville

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