A MAN is fighting to stay alive in hospital after suffering life-threatening burns while trying to fight a fast moving grass fire in northwest NSW.
The fire flared up in a paddock on a rural property off Coonabarabran Road at Caroona around 5.45 on Thursday afternoon.
The 36-year-old was helping local firefighters extinguish the blaze in a front-end loader when the flames surrounded his tractor.
The man became trapped in the fire and sustained severe burns to much of his body.
He was treated at the scene before being airlifted by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter to the Royal North Shore Hospital in a critical condition.
Investigations by the Oxley Local Area Command are ongoing and Safe Work NSW has been notified.