Australia wildfire: 12-year-old boy and his dog flee from deadly blaze in truck

A 12-year-old boy in Australia and his dog have escaped a fire that was approaching his family's farm house after grabbing the keys to his brother's pick-up truck and driving to safety. Lucas Sturrock was home alone on Sunday after his father and brother had gone out to fight a fire in Mogumber, 128 km northwest of Perth, Western Australia, when the blaze approached his house. Realising the fire was approaching too fast to escape to the rendezvous point designated by his father, Lucas grabbed the family dog and headed off in his older brother's pick-up truck, police said.

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Emergency workers found Lucas and the dog in the truck at the side of a road, unharmed.

"It was great he had the driving skills to get out of there," Police Sergeant Michael Daley told the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC).

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A firefighter works on a bushfire believed to have been sparked by a lightning strike that has ravaged an area of over 2,000 hectares in northern New South Wales state

AFP via Getty Images

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A dehydrated and injured Koala receives treatment at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

AFP via Getty Images

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A water tanker airplane drops fire retardant on a bushfire in Harrington, New South Wales

EPA

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Firefighters tackle a bushfire to save a home in Taree, 350km north of Sydney

AFP via Getty Images

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A kangaroo is seen by the burnt remains of a vintage car in Torrington

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Photo taken on November 9, 2019 shows bushfires taken from a plane in over north eastern New South Wales

AFP via Getty Images

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Andrew Mackenzie surveys the damage around his home in Torrington

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Fire and Rescue NSW firefighters conduct property protection as a bushfire burns close to homes on Railway Parade in Woodford NSW

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (L) comforts 85-year-old resident Owen Whalan at an evacauation centre in Taree 350km north of Sydney

AFP via Getty Images

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Fire burns at Bolivia Hill in Glen Innes

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A resident puts out small fires as he rides his motorcycle in Old Bar, New South Wales

EPA

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A fire rages in Bobin, 350km north of Sydney on November 9, 2019, as firefighters try to contain dozens of out-of-control blazes

AFP via Getty Images

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Construction workers speak as smoke haze drifts over Sydney, Australia

EPA

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A vintage Jaguar car sits in ruins after a bushfire destroyed a property in Old Bar, 350km north of Sydney

AFP via Getty Images

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A fire rages in Bobin, 350km north of Sydney

AFP via Getty Images

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A firefighter works on a bushfire believed to have been sparked by a lightning strike that has ravaged an area of over 2,000 hectares in northern New South Wales state

AFP via Getty Images

2/15

A dehydrated and injured Koala receives treatment at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

AFP via Getty Images

3/15

A water tanker airplane drops fire retardant on a bushfire in Harrington, New South Wales

EPA

4/15

Firefighters tackle a bushfire to save a home in Taree, 350km north of Sydney

AFP via Getty Images

5/15

A kangaroo is seen by the burnt remains of a vintage car in Torrington

Getty Images

6/15

Photo taken on November 9, 2019 shows bushfires taken from a plane in over north eastern New South Wales

AFP via Getty Images

7/15

Andrew Mackenzie surveys the damage around his home in Torrington

Getty Images

8/15

Fire and Rescue NSW firefighters conduct property protection as a bushfire burns close to homes on Railway Parade in Woodford NSW

AP

9/15

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (L) comforts 85-year-old resident Owen Whalan at an evacauation centre in Taree 350km north of Sydney

AFP via Getty Images

10/15

Fire burns at Bolivia Hill in Glen Innes

Getty Images

11/15

A resident puts out small fires as he rides his motorcycle in Old Bar, New South Wales

EPA

12/15

A fire rages in Bobin, 350km north of Sydney on November 9, 2019, as firefighters try to contain dozens of out-of-control blazes

AFP via Getty Images

13/15

Construction workers speak as smoke haze drifts over Sydney, Australia

EPA

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A vintage Jaguar car sits in ruins after a bushfire destroyed a property in Old Bar, 350km north of Sydney

AFP via Getty Images

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A fire rages in Bobin, 350km north of Sydney

AFP via Getty Images

"It is fantastic we found him and got him out of danger."

Ivan Sturrock, Lucas' father, said his son had learnt to drive when he was seven.

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"We taught him to drive since he was about seven just in case things like this do happen and I was quite proud of him, he did exactly what we told him to do," Mr Sturrock told the ABC.

Lucas Sturrock is one of thousands of Australians that have been forced to flee their homes amid a devastating national bushfire crisis that has seen authorities struggle to contain hundreds of blazes.

The fires have killed six people, destroyed more than 680 homes and burned nearly 3 million acres of bushland, and conditions are expected to deteriorate this week.

Reuters

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