driving through brushfire
© youtube/BBC News

An Australian man has filmed his terrifying trip through the heart of a bushfire.

George Hooker told the BBC he was driving near Hamley Bridge in South Australia when smoke and flames engulfed his car.

He kept filming on his phone with one hand even as the fire front raced towards him.

Two people have died and 13 hospitalised in the fires burning north of Adelaide.

"There were flames licking at the car, cinders and twigs blowing up against it," Mr Hooker said.

"If I stopped I would have been dead so I just kept going not really thinking much at all."

He eventually reached a burnt-out area further south on the Horrocks Highway and stopped his car.

As he watched, a house burnt to the ground over the course of 10 minutes, he said.

Having been told by police that he could drive on, he continued on his way to Adelaide.

Fire's toll

South Australia's Country Fire Service said on Thursday the fire was not yet under control and properties remained at risk.

Sixteen homes have been destroyed along with cars, farm buildings and machinery.

Allan Tiller, 69, has been identified as one of the fire's victims. The other, a 56-year-old woman from Hamley Bridge, has not yet been named.

South Australian Premier Jay Wetherill said at a press conference that the government would provide relief grants of up to $700 Australian dollars ($505; £335) for families affected by the fires.

Mr Wetherill said the damage toll was expected to rise.