Moonbi fire: Geurie RFS firefighters helped battle blaze

Members of the Geurie NSW NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) have shown bravery, commitment and camaraderie after they were called out to help fight the devastating fires at Moonbi recently.

The crew consisted of Stephen Mitchell, Chris Newberry, Joshua Wilesmith, Danielle McLaughlin and Vyv Seibert.

Together with 22 other firefighters across the state, the Geurie crew were part of the Western region strike team that battled the Moonbi blaze from November 18 to 22.

Mr Mitchell is the Geurie RFS crew leader and has been a volunteer for three years.

"In some instances it can be your worse nightmare if you don't know what you're doing," he said about going out to fight fires.

"But that's a different story (for firefighters) you're with experienced people. They wouldn't put you in any risk, but there is always that risk.

"But you get good trained people."

He said there were a few days when they just thought 'oh my god', adding that it was a "fierce fire."

"I've been called away to a few fires (before) and this (fire at Moonbi) would have to be the fiercest ones I've seen in a few years," Mr Mitchell said.

What made the fire that much more ferocious was the dryness of the landscape. They battled was it known as '360 winds', which is wind that blows in all different directions.

"So you'd be putting all of your efforts into one area and then all of a sudden it just changed," Mr Mitchell explained.

"It just took all that effort away."

Geurie RFS member Chris Newberry said the families of the firefighters deserve as much, if not more, credit because they're the ones who drop what they are doing to look after everything at home.

"Without them we couldn't do what we do. They are the hero's," he said.

One of the other things that makes being a fire fighter so worthwhile was meeting the people that you help.

"There's just that gratitude... . They just like to say a good thank you... we're not out for the heroism, we're just up there to do a job," Mr Mitchell said.

The local fire fighter decided to join the Geurie RFS all those years ago as a way to give back to his community.

"The RFS is a good mob and I just enjoy working with the local community and our local unit, we're a strong unit," Mr Mitchell said.

With fires already ravaging the state and summer having just started, Mr Mitchell's advice to people was to have their bushfire plan in place now.

"And just make sure you know it through and through," he said.

"Clean your gutters, make sure there's no rubbish hanging around your house or anything that could catch alight."