Exhausted fireys on red alert

FOUR exhausted rural firefighters are all that stand between Mount Morgan and bushfires that have been burning for the past five weeks.

The volunteer crew took a short break from fighting blazes to speak with The Morning Bulletin yesterday.

Four-man crew fights huge firesr From front page. ? Acting first officer Rob Miller said the crew had been working almost around the clock to contain an 8000ha fire at Struck Oil and a 4000ha fire to the west of Mount Morgan for weeks.

Mr Miller said while other rural and urban crews had helped where possible, it was often left to the crew to do what they could.

"The only place that hasn't burnt is the town itself,'' he said. "It's come close to a lot of houses.''

Mr Miller said rain was now the only hope for a break in the fires, which he expected would soon flare up again.

He said yesterday's storms had missed Mount Morgan.

Mr Miller's own property has been almost all burnt out and he even missed his own birthday party last fortnight.

"I was called out to a fire on my birthday. Everyone was at the party but me,'' he said.

"By the time I got home it was 11pm and the party had all but folded.''

Mr Miller said the crew members were training themselves not to sleep.

"By the time you close your eyes the only thing you see is the fire lines.

"The only chance we get to sleep sometimes is in the truck, when we're waiting for the fire to come closer.''

But Mr Miller and his crew wasn't complaining ? they're simply looking for more volunteers and good rain.

Fellow volunteer firefighter Paul Graham said he enjoyed serving the community the best he could, while his brother Matthew said the yellow fire truck had began to feel like home.

"At least I've got an excuse for coming home late now,'' Matthew said.

Mr Miller has been a volunteer with the Rural Fire Brigade for 20 years, while Paul has volunteered for nine, Matthew for six and Greg Stell for 18 months.

Mr Miller said the crew were always looking for new members and urged anyone interested to contact 0408?182?085.

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