Viral Ukrainian Firefighter Photo Actually Shows Firefighters Battling Tasmanian Bushfires

E.B. Johnson

As the war in Ukraine rages on, images and videos continue to bleed through the edges of social media. Last week, many of those images were said to depict European firefighters who had joined in the Ukrainian resistance. A particularly heart-rending image of a trio of exhausted heroes went viral. In the image, three soot-faced men are shown safe - but exhausted - in the back of a rescue vehicle.

When posted, the image claimed to show 3 Ukrainian firefighters. It's now been revealed, however, by the India Today Anti-Fake News War room (or AFWA) that the viral photo actually depicts 3 Australian firefighters dealing with the tragic Tasmanian bushfires of 2019.

The original image was shared in February of 2019 by popular Australian country music band, The Wolfe Brothers. In their original viral post, they outlined the plight of Australian firefighters and the devastation their country was facing. They also credited the original image to fellow firefighter, John Lyon.

This image of three exhausted firefighters has been published time and time again in various publications since, including the Daily Mail, The Guardian, and SBSNews (which is an Australian news portal).

Now, however, this old image is being passed along the internet as Ukrainian firefighters - of which none of the men are. It's important to note this discrepancy, and tread carefully where it is being used for fundraising or information gathering efforts.

To learn more about the Tasmanian bushfires, you can visit the Fire Centre Research Hub of Australia, who reported extensively on the bushfires across Australia and Tasmania - which were ignited by lightning storms between December of 2018 and January of 2019.

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