As bushfires continue to sweep across NSW, a photo has depicted the bravery and heroism of local firefighters.
The image shared by the Thank You Fireys Facebook page shows the wrecked remains of the local Rural Fire Brigade headquarters in Rainbow Flat after it was burned down on Friday.
Located approximately 20 kilometres south of Taree, the building was left to be savaged by flames as firefighters who usually work out of it were on the ground in surrounding areas protecting other people’s lives and properties.
“With conditions in New South Wales this coming Tuesday set to be worse than those of last Friday’s unprecedented fire emergency, thousands of volunteer firefighters are still on the ground working tirelessly to protect lives and property - 19 firefighters have been injured and some have lost their homes,” the Thank You Fireys Facebook account shared on Sunday alongside the photo.
“Heartbreakingly, the dedicated volunteers of the Rainbow Flat won’t have a fire station to come home to.
“Amidst the devastation, incredible stories of bravery, heroism, skill and teamwork continue to be shared.”
Thank You Fireys, a group set up to raise money for volunteer firefighters, said that 100% of profits from their ‘Thank You Fireys’ merchandise would go directly back to volunteer fire brigades.
On Sunday Fire and Rescue NSW said two firefighters from the Nambucca heads area were injured on the state’s north coast when a tree fell across their fire truck on Kian Road.
“One firefighter was partially outside the truck when the tree fell, causing injuries to her head and neck,” read the statement.
“The impact of the tree falling on the roof also caused head injuries to another firefighter inside the truck.
“Both firefighters were attended to by NSW Ambulance paramedics and have been transferred to hospital in a stable condition.”
This is one of Australia’s worst bushfire seasons, with parts of the country facing the worst droughts in living memory.
NSW and Queensland firefighters raced on Sunday to contain widespread bushfires that have left three people dead, and warned of “catastrophic” fire conditions ahead, including around Sydney.
Authorities upgraded the forecast for the greater Sydney region to catastrophic fire danger for Tuesday, the first time the city has been rated at that level since new fire danger ratings were introduced in 2009.
“High temperatures, strong winds and low humidity are forecast, making conditions dangerous,” the New South Wales state Rural Fire Service said in a statement.
Three people have died in New South Wales since Friday, when a record number of emergency-level fires were declared in the state, and at least 150 homes have been destroyed.
Five people were listed by authorities as missing on Saturday afternoon, but local media said Sunday they had now been accounted for.
By Sunday afternoon, about half of the more than 70 fires burning in New South Wales were still not under control, with two burning at an emergency level.
With additional reporting by Will Ziebell (Reuters).