Finn Burns is just 11 years old, but the last few weeks of his life have been an incredibly scary experience for the young boy, his family, and millions of others living in Australia.
For months, many parts of Australia have been burning. Enormous brushfires have swallowed up Australian land, homes, and their beloved wildlife and a photo of Burns has emerged as the poster for the devastation and fear that is currently unfolding, 9 News reports.
The photo was captured by Burns’s mother, who took it while they were fleeing from the fires that engulfed their home which stood in the Victorian town of Mallacoota. According to 9 News, both of the boy’s parents are firefighters and their escape plan was to use a tinnie, or a small aluminum boat, to get themselves to safety if that’s what it came down to.
Eleven-Year-Old Boy Speaks Out After Photo of Him Escaping Australian Brushfires Goes Viral
Burns described what that day was like to 9 News. “When we left it just went pitch black and it was really, really windy. We had our plan and we just used it … it worked.” The young boy admitted that the moment they escaped was “pretty scary,” but feels lucky that he and his family are now safe.
“We were just worried about getting away from the fire and just being safe,” he told 9 News. “I’m not really fussed, it’s just a photo.” Luckily, Burns’s home was one of the lucky ones, and the family has been able to return to it.
Allison Marion said she captured the photo because she wanted to “record our story for our family,” the Daily Mail reports. The mom admitted that she was so proud of how Finn and her other son, Caleb, worked together in that terrifying moment. She also thanked the other families who escaped the brushfires with them.
“We were lucky enough to be with a group of other people from Mallacoota and other families who assisted us. We followed them out to Goodwin Sands where we were located for the day and there were a lot of Mallacoota people sheltering.”
According to ABC News, since November 24 people have been charged with deliberately setting the fires, and a total of 183 people are facing legal action in some capacity. The New South Wales Police Force says legal action has varied between “cautions” to “criminal charges.”
Sadly, reports say 24 people, including volunteer firefighters, have died as a result of the massive fires, and more are still missing and uncounted for. If you would like to donate to those affected by the fires, comedian Celeste Barber has created a massive fund that will be donated to those in need.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.