Aussie grandfather engulfed by fire as planned burn goes wrong

The 75-year-old was raised on the property and was a well-known member of the community around Forbes.

A family are heartbroken after their beloved grandfather died in a “freak” tragedy on his NSW property.

Viv Coady, 75, was conducting a planned hazard-reduction burn on his land at Forbes on Saturday when a sudden gust of wind trapped him in the flames.

The burn was being done “by the book” with the help of NSW Rural Fire Service brigade and Mr Coady’s family members, his nephew Grant Nicholson told ABC Central West.

The farmer was with his tractor on one side of the fire, separated from firefighters and his family members.

Viv Coady became trapped in the blaze on his property on Saturday. Source: ABC News
Viv Coady became trapped in the blaze on his property on Saturday. Source: ABC News

"Unfortunately, the wind turned and just engulfed him," Mr Nicholson told the publication, describing it as a “tragic accident”.

"It was just a freak gust of wind … it just caught everyone off guard."

NSW Police were called to the property on The Bogan Way at about 11.30am where first responders found Mr Coady with severe burns.

“He was treated at the scene by the RFS members and NSW Ambulance paramedics, before being airlifted to Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, where he died later the same evening,” police said in a statement.

Mr Nicholson said the family are still “in shock”.

"Just something that's routine out here that's done all the time, it's being done on farms today and probably was done yesterday.

A map showing The Bogan Way in Forbes, sitting west of Sydney.
Mr Coady was airlifted from his property on The Bogan Way to the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney. Source: Google Maps

"You just never expect to go to work and not come home, or do something as routine as what they were doing and not come home."

At the time of the tragedy, it was more than 32 degrees with a fire danger rating of high.

Mr Coady had been raised on the property and was well-known in the community.

"He was just a good bloke. He loves his bikes, his cars, his farm," Mr Nicholson said.

Police have established a crime scene at the property and an investigation is underway, however they say it appears Mr Coady’s death is not suspicious.

A report will be prepared for the coroner.

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