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Firefighter dies battling Vic blaze

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Tragically a 41 year old mother of three young children died in terrible circumstances as reported on

A volunteer firefighter has died after falling under the wheels of a fire truck while battling a blaze in Victoria's north on Friday.

It is the second firefighting fatality in as many days and the third in recent weeks.

The 41-year-old Barnawatha woman was fighting a grassfire on a private property in Barnawartha, west of Wodonga, when she was hit about 1.45pm (AEDT), police said.

The woman, who was helping with a fire hose, fell under the wheels of the truck as it slowly moved forward.

She suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene, Senior Constable Michael Henry said.

Traumatised fellow firefighters had to keep battling the blaze, which broke out about 1.30pm and took an hour to contain.

The woman's family, who are also involved in the brigade, have been notified.

Victorian Premier Steve Bracks and Country Fire Authority chief executive Neil Bibby on Friday night extended their sympathy to the woman's family, friends and colleagues.

"I am sure I speak on behalf of all Victorians when I send my sympathies to the family involved in this tragedy," Mr Bracks said.

"The loss is felt particularly hard when it is a volunteer who died selflessly serving their community.

"I am sure the thousands of members of the CFA across Victoria will rally round and support the family and local brigades in their time of need."

Country Fire Authority chief executive Neil Bibby said there were no words to adequately express his grief.

"Our deepest condolences go out to the member's family, friends and fellow brigade personnel," Mr Bibby said.

"There is nothing we can say to alleviate their pain but we will be there for them.

"As always, the CFA family will stand behind its members and anyone affected by this devastating loss can be assured of our full support."

Mr Bibby urged CFA members to talk about the tragedy with each other.

"I encourage any CFA member affected by the tragedy to speak to their fellow members and use available counselling services," he said.

The major collision investigation unit had been sent to the property on Williams Rd, as well as Worksafe officers, police said.

Police will prepare a report for the coroner.

On Thursday in NSW, a waterbombing pilot Brad Pead died when his plane ploughed into a hill near Mount Ulandra, south of Cootamundra.

The 32-year-old father of two was the first fatality in the history of Australia's aerial firefighting.

Mr Pead worked for a private aviation company contracted to carry out waterbombing for the Rural Fire Service and was alone on the flight.

Police said he was from Bellangry, near Port Macquarie.

Last month in Victoria, Campbells Creek fire captain Trevor Day, 42, died while fighting a blaze near Yea when the truck he was in rolled over.


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