Members of the Byron Bay, Mullumbimby and Wollongbar Rural Fire Service crew pause for some lunch after controlling fires in the Candole State Forest.
Members of the Byron Bay, Mullumbimby and Wollongbar Rural Fire Service crew pause for some lunch after controlling fires in the Candole State Forest. Adam Hourigan

Help for our firies

THE Rural Fire Service has called for assistance from across NSW to relieve exhausted local crews.

Volunteers often work 12-hour shifts, go home and sleep and then repeat the experience again the next day.

"A lot of our volunteers only get time to drive home, eat some dinner and sleep before getting back out there in the field the next day," said RFS spokesman Matt Inwood.

Crew members, who have made the trip down from the Far North Coast, were interviewed as they were having their lunch, surrounded by smoke in the Candole State Forest east of Ulmarra yesterday.

The crew came down from Byron Bay, Mullumbimby and Wollongbar.

"It has been great to come down and help out," said Byron Bay RFS volunteer Jo Heber.

"We know that if we need it the guys from down here will return the favour."

The crew agreed they had not been in any particularly dangerous situations since arriving.

"We sort of knew we would not be seeing too much action," said Ms Heber.

"Just enough to boil the billy."

The "ring-in volunteers" have been staying at the Grafton hockey centre, which they say they have quite enjoyed.

Other crews have been brought in from the Blue Mountains and the Northern Rivers.



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