John Foster after a hard and hot day out on the fire front.
John Foster after a hard and hot day out on the fire front. brian cassidy

How friendship is helping fight fires and keep us safe

AFTER a long day of fighting fires, the yellow uniforms of the rural firefighters were blackened with ash and carried a scent of smoke - and worn with pride.

With crews from around the region and New Zealand working in unison to protect homes south of Bundaberg, Woodgate Rural Fire crew's John Foster said it was a terrific team effort on the frontline and beyond.

Mr Foster said Friday's efforts in varying winds and hot conditions were two-pronged, with fires at Walkers Point and Kinkuna Estate.

He said one of the most prominent aspects when it came to fighting fires was the solidarity and support forged between crews, something that always happened when it came to fires.

Mr Foster praised the co-operation between local rural crews, a New Zealand strike team and the aerial crews and this was echoed by numerous other firefighters the NewsMail spoke to during the past few days.

"We go to people's fires, and other people come to our fires," he said.

"With this one being so big, there's lots of people from everywhere."

With his focus on the task at hand, Mr Foster said the totality of fire's reach was not known to him.  He spent most of Friday working along Woodgate Rd.

Mr Foster said fires in this region were always interesting.

He said the float planes had been landing in a dam or skipping water out of a dam at the back of Howard to help control the fire.

On Saturday there were between 18 and 30 crews on the scene and Police Inspector and District Disaster Co-ordinator Pat Swindells said there were about 12 aircraft working throughout the day at the Woodgate/Walkers Point Road and Kinkuna Waters fire grounds.

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