Australia Although retired, John Foster still with members over 70 years of firefighters fighting the wildfire raging.

Foster, 71, is one of six members of the Woodgate area firefighters in Queensland. The remaining 5 members are John, Keith, Ray, Glenda, Noel and Henk, all over 70 years old.


John Foster (left) with members of the Woodgate volunteer fire brigade Photo: ABC News

"The members of the team are all in the 70-74 age group," Foster said. "We became firefighters because we wanted to support the community."

In recent days, Foster's fire brigade has been focusing on forest fires in the Woodgate area to protect the community of more than 1,000 residents. "We are one of many volunteer fire brigades operating in Queensland, with the sole mission of trying to extinguish forest fires," he said.

Besides supporting the community, Foster said the urge for him to join the elderly firefighter squad was to make more friends.

"When I moved from the city to the countryside, a friend told me to join the volunteer firefighter team if I wanted to make friends with many people here and I did so," Foster said.


Smoke from wildfire covered Sydney's suburbs on November 22 Photo: Sydney Morning Herald

Australia's fires destroyed more than one million hectares of forests and farmland in the past few weeks, killing four people and burning more than 300 homes in New South Wales and Queensland. More than 1,300 firefighters are deployed to deal with the fire in hot, dry weather and strong winds.

While wildfires in the eastern states of Australia are still out of control, wildfire has recently spread to neighboring states including Victoria and South Australia.

Victorian officials on November 21 issued a red warning, the highest for wildfires. More than 100 schools in South Australia state on November 20 also had to close to avoid the effects of wildfires.

Forest fires in the dry season are common in Australia, but many scientists warn that the problem will be more serious due to climate change.