So thank you all very, very much

DEAR firefighters, SES and police.

Thank you.

It's not just houses you guys saved, it's homes, full of memories and irreplaceable belongings.

Like many, I awoke in a home near the foot of Mount Archer on Saturday about 6.30am, to the smell of burning in the air.

Outside, in the street, fingernail-sized pieces of ash fell slowly onto my pyjamas.

By 4pm, the air was so thick with smoke I could barely see across the street.

Blackened gum leaves were landing on my porch. The sun was blocked out, glowing muted orange.

Things were starting to feel like they could tip to the side of tragedy.

But I could hear those redemptive sirens speeding their way towards where the danger lay.

Help was at hand.

It was a courageous effort all round.

Neighbours joined each other to fight off hungry embers as the fire front raced towards them. With buckets of water and garden hoses in a David and Goliath battle. You're ordinary heroes too.

God knows the destruction that could have descended - no one imagined the fire could encroach so easily on Rockhampton suburbia as it was.

For those who weren't in the danger areas, have a look at the frighteningly awesome images captured by our photographers in the galleries on the right.

I think it's only if you see what these blokes in high-visibility gear were up against that you can truly appreciate what a display of skill and tenacity they had to put up to save so many homes.

We don't know your names, but you might have saved our lives as we know it.

So thank you, very much, all of you.

From all of us.

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