The volunteer firefighting crew in Wallan in the Australian state of Victoria have battled truck high flames this fire season but are undeterred [Tracey Shelton/Al Jazeera]

Wallan, Australia – Their faces and uniforms blackened by soot and ash, the Wallan volunteer firefighting team thought they had the blaze they were battling in Australia‘s Victoria state under control, aside from a few spot fires started by the floating embers that dotted the sky.

But then the wind changed.

Suddenly, Braydan Fletcher and his team found themselves facing a 150-kilometre-wide wall of flames.

“That’s where your training and your reliance on the team around you kicks in,” the 30-year-old, whose full-time job is a transport operations manager, told Al Jazeera.

The team made a narrow

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