Playing with fire!

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Talk about playing with fire! A thrill seeker takes a selfie just FIVE METRES from a volcano as lava exploded out of it.

Fearless Gabriel Baratheu spent just seconds beside the Piton de la Fournaise volcano, Reunion Island, before the 1000 degree heat became too much.

He was one of a few photographers with exclusive permission to photograph the volcano during an eruption – and said it was “an opportunity not to be missed”.

PIC BY GABRIEL BARATHIEU/CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: Photographer, Gabriel Barathieu takes a picture in front of Piton de la Fournaise Volcano on Reunion Island.) - Talk about playing with fire! A thrill seeker stood just FIVE METRES from a volcano as lava exploded out of it. Fearless Gabriel Baratheu spent just seconds beside the Piton de la Fournaise volcano, Reunion Island, before the 1000 degree heat became too much. SEE CATERS COPY.

PIC BY GABRIEL BARATHIEU/CATERS NEWS – Photographer, Gabriel Barathieu takes a picture in front of Piton de la Fournaise Volcano on Reunion Island.

Piton de la Fournaise – or ‘Peak of the Furnace’ – is still one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is over 530,000 years old.

Gabriel, 33, had to walk for several hours to get to the heat of the action.

The daredevil photographer said: “Being close to an eruption is really intense.

PIC BY GABRIEL BARATHIEU/CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: A view of the Piton de la Fournaise Volcano erupting) - Talk about playing with fire! A thrill seeker stood just FIVE METRES from a volcano as lava exploded out of it. Fearless Gabriel Baratheu spent just seconds beside the Piton de la Fournaise volcano, Reunion Island, before the 1000 degree heat became too much. SEE CATERS COPY.

PIC BY GABRIEL BARATHIEU/CATERS NEWS – A view of the Piton de la Fournaise Volcano erupting.

“It’s a unique experience, and not an opportunity to be missed.

“I got as close as five metres away from the explosion, but the heat is so great I couldn’t stay longer than 30 seconds.”

For Gabriel, being that close to the volcano helps get things in perspective.

He said: “It’s so dangerous during an eruption – the soil is unstable and there are toxic gases from the lava, so it’s quite a hostile environment.

PIC BY GABRIEL BARATHIEU/CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: A man looks at the Piton de la Fournaise Volcano on Reunion Island.) - Talk about playing with fire! A thrill seeker stood just FIVE METRES from a volcano as lava exploded out of it. Fearless Gabriel Baratheu spent just seconds beside the Piton de la Fournaise volcano, Reunion Island, before the 1000 degree heat became too much. SEE CATERS COPY.

PIC BY GABRIEL BARATHIEU/CATERS NEWS – A thrill seeker stood just FIVE METRES from a volcano as lava exploded out of it. 

“By seeing this show, you understand that nothing is stronger than nature.

“It is a journey through time, almost unreal.

“There’s no life there and the smell of sulfur burns your nostrils and throat.”