Lucas Sturrock was alone at home on Sunday after his father and brother had gone out to fight a fast-moving fire as it approached the town of Mogumber, located about 80 miles northwest of Perth.
Sturrock had a planned rendezvous point with his father but was unable to make it due to the approaching blaze. That’s when he took the family dog, hopped in his brother’s pickup truck, and drove away, according to Dalwallinu Police.
An officer found Sturrock and the dog safe in the truck along the road, police tweeted.
A fast-moving fire on Sunday approached the town of Mogumber, located about 80 miles northwest of Perth.
“It was great he had the driving skills to get out of there,” Police Sergeant Michael Daley told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “It is fantastic we found him and got him out of danger.”
A photo released by police shows Lucas sitting safely in the car of a police officer after he was rescued.
Lucas Sturrock can be seen after he was rescued on Sunday.
Ivan Sturrock, Lucas’ father, said his son had learned to drive when he was seven, according to Reuters.
“We taught him to drive since he was about seven just in case things like this do happen and I was quite proud of him, he did exactly what we told him to do,” Sturrock told the ABC.
The officer who rescued the 12-year-old, Michael Daley, said the incident was an example of how families should “have a plan and know it” if a wildfire ends up threatening their home, the BBC reported.
Australia’s fire season normally peaks during the summer in the Southern Hemisphere but started early this year after an unusually dry and warm winter. Last month, authorities reported more than 50 wildfires burning mainly in northern New South Wales.
The blazes have left at least six people dead, destroyed more than 680 homes and burned nearly 3 million acres. Cities such as Sydney have also been plunged in heavy smoke, leading to hazardous air quality.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.