Firefighter killed in South Australia

Brian Johnston
CFS volunteer Brian Johnston.

A firefighter was killed December 9 in South Australia. Below is an excerpt from an article at

Country Fire Service volunteer Brian Johnston would have marked 50 years of fighting fires in 2015 — a heroic milestone cut short by a tragic accident Tuesday afternoon.

The 65-year-old, who was a member of the Millicent Brigade and Deputy Group Officer of Wattle Range, was killed when he was hit by a truck while preparing to fight a grass fire at Rendelsham in the state’s Southeast late yesterday afternoon.

Mr Johnston was standing behind the CFS utility he had been driving on the Southern Ports Highway, about 12km northwest of Millicent, and preparing to fight a fire when another truck attending the blaze crashed into him.

Shortly before the crash, at about 4.30pm on Tuesday, CFS fire trucks had been called to a grass fire in the area.

Mr Johnston, who had retired just 12 months ago from an extensive career at the Kimberley Clark mill in Millicent was the second CFS volunteer to be killed this year, after father-of-two Andrew Harrison was killed while fighting a fire at Nantawarra in October.

CFS chief officer Greg Nettleton said the tragedy had happened in low visibility, due to smoke from a the nearby fire Mr Johnston was fighting.

Our sincere condolences go out to Mr. Johnston’s family and co-workers.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.