AN army of fire fighters have battled, held ground, retreated and battled again against the Deans Gap fire.
Yesterday up to 100 firefighters were in the field working in 12-hour shifts to contain the fire which now has burnt out 6500 hectares.
Local firefighters have been joined by about 100 personnel from out of the Shoalhaven.
Most of out of area firefighters have come from the Sydney region and as far north as Lismore.
RFS media spokesman Brett Loughlin yesterday said a combined attack from firefighters on the ground and aircraft have been concentrating efforts on the fire front heading toward Tianjara.
“Another big focus has been on operations around the highway and Sussex Inlet Road.
“We have had eight helicopters and 27 fire trucks involved in the fire fighting effort today (Thursday),” he said.
Mr Loughlin thanked all Shoalhaven employers who had allowed employees who were RFS and SES volunteers to join the effort.
“A big thank you to the hundreds of businesses who have let their workers go.
“It leaves them short-handed and they are not compensated for that,” he said.
Hannah Birkinhead from Callala Bay Rural Fire Brigade has come home reeking of bushfire smoke these past few days.
That’s not new to her – she has been a volunteer with the RFS for five years and attended plenty of fires, however this she admits is by far the largest.
“The biggest challenge is not knowing what to expect at the fire,” she said.
“You can always be prepared for things but until you get to the fire you don’t really know exactly what to expect.
“The co-ordination is good and everyone is working well together.
“I have enjoyed being able to help people who aren’t in a situation to help themselves. If it was my town I’d want as much help as I could get,” she said.