OUR SAY: Worst is over, it’s time to thank all who fought the flames

FOUGHT THE GOOD FIGHT: The brave firefighters who subdued the Mount Canobolas blaze deserve our thanks. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

FOUGHT THE GOOD FIGHT: The brave firefighters who subdued the Mount Canobolas blaze deserve our thanks. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

There’s no doubt the firefighters and countless volunteers will look back on the past few days with much relief that it’s coming to an end.

Firefighters have spent long days on the front line, battling strong winds and hot weather in an effort to contain a fire that came dangerously close to destroying several homes and outbuildings.

The volunteers on the ground made sure the firefighters were hydrated and given plenty of food to sustain them through the long hours, night and day.

Despite the news that the fire has abated and no longer the threat it once was, there’s more hard work still to be done.

Now the crews begin the arduous task of mopping up after the fire. In many ways this is just as important as fighting an active fire.

It’s the process of checking under logs, surveying properties for any signs of fire and looking at stumps to ensure there’s not a smoldering patch that’s gone unnoticed.

They also have to ensure the backburning has been prudent and decide whether more is needed.

It’s now that the firefighting crew numbers will start winding back and returning to locations all over the state, leaving reduced numbers to complete this vital process.

The roads which have been closed for up to five days will slowly reopen, people will return to their homes and businesses will operate as normal.

By Sunday night the fire should no longer be considered an emergency and slowly the firefighters, the volunteers and the community around Mount Canobolas will regain some semblances of normality.

A trip over the fire area by helicopter has revealed just how close the blaze came to damaging property and wiping out even more land.

There are many stories of people giving a helping hand by offering strangers accommodation, a place to leave their animals or a facility to store equipment.

In the coming weeks it would be marvelous to see the community come together and celebrate the fine work of the firefighters and volunteers.

Not only would a community event serve to acknowledge and thank them for their amazing efforts it would do so much more to help remind us what a great place we live in.

Let’s work together to organise an event that will do justice to all who have given so much.

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