‘Don’t lose your sh---’: Crews describe bushfire terror
A FEW hours at home, away from the frontline offered some relief for Eumundi Rural Fire Brigade members Andrew Weston and Luke Freyling.
The pair were part of the mass of firefighters who stared down a wall of flames, smoke and a dramatic ember attack to protect homes and businesses in Peregian Beach last night.
They finished at 4.30am Tuesday and were back on the firefront by 8.30am.
Paperbark tearing off trees was creating incredible heat in the fire which damaged homes around Lorikeet Drive last night.
Mr Freyling said the heat had been immense as the blaze crossed David Low Way.
"You were lucky to see your hand in front of your face at times," he said.
"Visibility was very bad."
The pair were back out at Murdering Creek Rd today, a crucial site efforts had been focused upon to try and stop the onslaught.
Mr Weston praises the efforts of waterbombing helicopters, and said there'd been up to five in action today.
"The heli attacks are doing a fantastic job," he said.
The pair said the spirit among firefighters and other emergency services had been phenomenal, with rank and status ignored by fireys eager to get in to help whoever they were alongside.
"The police did an absolutely amazing job (evacuating Peregian Beach last night)," Mr Freyling said.
They both expected to be back out on the firefront tonight.
"It's probably been my biggest (fire)," Mr Weston, 34, said.
The truck driver and photographer said last night's ember attack had been a test for crews.
"You've just got to focus on the job at task," he said.
"It didn't seem as quick as it was. Everything just kind of slows down in the moment."
Mr Freyling, 41, a leading hand for a concreting crew, said the key was to make sure all protective equipment was on and "don't lose your s--t basically" in the heat of the battle.
They said there were more than 100 trucks in action last night, with fire crews from Hervey Bay to the south side of Brisbane joining the efforts.