12-year-old boy grabs dog and DRIVES big brother’s ute to escape BUSHFIRE

He's one brave kid!

A 12-year-old West Australian boy has been reunited with his family after fleeing an advancing fire by packing his dog into a ute and jumping behind the wheel.

With his father Ivan Sturrock and older brother Dale out fighting the fire near the small town of Mogumber, about 120km north-east of Perth, Lucas Sturrock was at home alone when the blaze began to creep far too close for comfort.

He had been instructed to head to an orange tree about 4km up the road if the fire got too close.

But time was running out.

So plucky Lucas took decisive action.

He grabbed his dog and jumped in his big brother’s Ford Ranger and drove off.

However, as his father explained to ABC Radio later, by the time he got to the orange tree, the fire was already on the other side of the road, so Lucas went to find safety elsewhere.

A short time later, Luke’s brother and dad arrived and – concerned for his safety – reported him missing.

An alert was radioed to units in the area and Lucas was intercepted about an hour later by firefighters who were battling the blaze nearby.

“We were lucky that … about an hour after, we were patrolling the northern flank and came across Lucas pulled up in his ute,” Bindoon Bushfire Brigade’s Craig Spencer told ABC Radio.

“He was a very scared young fella.

“Typical farm boy, he was pretty clever, I think the problem was he just didn’t quite know where to go and it was hard to see with all the smoke.

“So I think he probably panicked a bit and when we found him he was pulled up on the side of the road and didn’t quite know where to go.”

Lucas’s dad said his son had been taught to drive at the age of seven, just in case of such an emergency.

“I was quite proud of him, he did exactly what we told him to do,” he said.

Dalwallinu Police Sergeant Michael Daley, who reunited Lucas with his dad, said although police did not condone children driving, the incident did highlight the effectiveness of having a bushfire plan.

This story first appeared on 7NEWS and has been republished here with permission. 

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