TWELVE rural fire fighters from five local brigades have just returned from a grueling five day deployment at the huge 10,000 hectare fire burning out of control in the rugged Sheepskin Complex range west of Singleton.
Working in twelve hour shifts, one and a half hours drive from their base at Bulga the fireman worked with other teams from State Forests, National Parks and Wildlife and their Rural Fire Service.
Their prime task was to put in 60 kilometres of containment lines around the fire aiming at having the fire exhaust itself when it reaches those lines.
At least two more weeks of work is to be allocated to this task by teams working around the clock.
Thirty appliances were in use at any one time those being the smaller category seven and nine type vehicles.
The country was considered too steep and the tracks too tight for deployment of the larger category one fire trucks.
This meant constant return trips to the huge water bladders, each containing 5000 litres placed by helicopter at the 700 metre high helicopter pad at Kings Junction. The fireman worked in an environment of extreme dust and heat.
Those attending were from Mitchells Island, Warwick Murray and Larry Nolan, from Diamond Beach, Leo Frasen, John Baker and Graham Hill, from Wallaby Joe, Natasha Carney, Jason Newport and Les Zanardi,from King Creek, Max Baigent and Gary Tinkler and from Wauchope, group leader Paul Mesher and Jamie Murphy.