HARSH CONDITIONS: Rural firefighters Rob Aspinall and Brad Kingston get an hour off filling aircraft with water to get fuel for the firefighters
HARSH CONDITIONS: Rural firefighters Rob Aspinall and Brad Kingston get an hour off filling aircraft with water to get fuel for the firefighters

Through firefighters’ eyes: Animals, homes destroyed

THEY share 40 years of firefighting experience between them and the same opinion- The Caves Rural Fire Brigade members Rob Aspinall and Brad Kingston have never seen a fire like this one.

Every six minutes for the past two days, the pair refilled or refuelled aircraft used to fight the fires, at Hedlow Airport.

They worked from 10.30 on Saturday morning through to Sunday at 2.30am, went home for four hours and were back on the job at 6.30 on Sunday morning.

“We’ve seen a few bad ones but not quite as bad,” first commander Brad Kingston said.

The volunteer firefighters worked until 7pm on Sunday night and started again at 6am on Monday morning – many of them had to take annual leave at their day jobs to fight the fires.

“It’s going to be a hard week if the wind goes up,” he said.

The brigade started the weekend on the frontline, fighting the devastation head-on and watching structures, homes and animals perish in the flames.

“It’s the most damage we’ve seen. We saw a few structures go up,” he said.

“The amount of loss of animal stock and structures that’s been destroyed (is awful).”

About 20 firefighters from The Caves brigade are volunteering their time, creating containment lines and refuelling and refilling planes used to fight the fires.



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