Dedicated and 'down to earth' firefighter dies in accident

A YOUNG woman, "loved by everyone she worked with", was one of two Victorian firefighters killed when a tree fell on their car on Wednesday.

Katie Peters, 19, and a man in his 30's who has not been named, were battling a blaze in the Alpine region when they were crushed by a falling free.

Department of Sustainability and Environment chief fire officer Alan Goodwin told the Herald Ms Peters, from the country town of Tallandoon, loved working with her mates and was "incredibly down to earth".

The man, from Corryong, was reportedly well known in his community.

The victims' colleagues were left with no choice but to continue to fight the fire until other emergency services arrived.

Victorian Police Superintendent Paul O'Halloran praised their efforts and told reporters the scenes were "very, very tough for those who attended".

The 27,000ha fire been burning near Harrietville area since late January.

Australian Workers Union Victorian secretary Cesar Melhem said DSE firefighters worked in difficult conditions, often with little recognition and the pair "have died heroes".


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