Volunteers devote hours to fighting back fires around area
RURAL firefighter Ricky Rowland has stood shoulder to shoulder with dozens of other volunteers and emergency personnel to battle blazes threatening homes across the region throughout the last five days.
The volunteers, as well as the region's fire and emergency crews, devoted countless hours of their time to beating back the flames at Churchill Mine Rd, Craignish, Walligan and yesterday a new fire at Dunmora.
Mr Rowland said the past few days had been "high tempo", with crews working together to save properties and stop the fires spreading.
"At the end of the day that's what we do, step up and go and protect the community," he said.
Virtually all rural fire brigades from across the region came together to fight the fires which have broken out across the Fraser Coast.
Mr Rowland is from the Torbanlea and Howard Rural Fire Brigade and he said they had contributed five crew and two appliances to the efforts.
"We generally work between eight and 10 hours a day, however that's under the fatigue management laws with Queensland Fire," he said.
"Where possible and practical they actually rotate crews in and out to give them a rest and respite," he said.
"We're looked after on that side of things."
Mr Rowland is employed as the workplace health and safety officer at Burrum District Community Centre and he said the workplace was very understanding when he was called out to battle fires.
"The reason why I don't worry (about the fire season) is because I know there's a lot of very professional crews out there and a lot of very professional people who are willing to step up and take the challenge," he said.
Mr Rowland encouraged others to volunteer their time.
"The more volunteers we get, the better equipped we are to handle these types of situations."