WHEN partner in Wandandian business Asra Aromas, Tom Coelho, heard the warning about the fire he packed up and left the village.
“I’m not as brave as our firefighters,” he said.
“When the sky crane started taking water from a dam near our business and kept coming back to reload every five minutes or so I thought, ‘This is getting serious.’
“We were here in the 2001-02 fires and I remember the fire jumping 26 kilometres from Sassafras to Huskisson in about three hours so we weren’t going to take any chances.”
A SES volunteer, Mr Coelho also spent time in the Emergency Operations Centre at Albatross Road and witnessed first-hand the efforts of firefighters.
“They are out their putting their lives on the line to defend homes and properties.
“I heard some pilots saying that in the height of it all with the fires raging all the volunteers could do is try to protect properties and they managed to do that.”