Incredible images as the Myall Creek fire threatened Ashby on Tuesday night. Photo: Cynthia Bodycote
Incredible images as the Myall Creek fire threatened Ashby on Tuesday night. Photo: Cynthia Bodycote

New podcast goes behind region’s fire front line

A TERRIFYING near-death experience, extreme fatigue and the bond between volunteers and their community are just some of the stories told in a new podcast by Daily Examiner journalist Jenna Thompson.

On The Frontline is an eight-part series that reveals the first-hand experiences of NSW Rural Fire volunteers during the Clarence Valley's horrific 2019 bushfire season.

"It's an important part of our region's history that needed to be told, especially things like the Nymboida firestorm," Ms Thompson said.

"What these volunteers went through, and what they did to keep our community safe is beyond comprehension, and the fact that no one was killed is incredible."

Ms Thompson said some of the interviews were tough to listen to.

"I don't think I've gotten through an interview without tearing up at least once," she said.

"It's hard to fathom what these men and women did, to face down something so terrifying and risk their lives, all to protect their community. But at the same time, it made me realise how much our actions impact on these volunteers."

Listen to the trailer here:


Eight volunteer fire fighters from across the Clarence Valley participated in the project, however, Ms Thompson said there was opportunity for further interviews if any other volunteers wished to come forward and tell their story.

"It's often difficult opening up about something so traumatic and I know there are a few volunteers out there who just want to forget what happened which is completely understandable," she said.

"For me, it's about recording this major Clarence Valley event for future generations to look back on and appreciate just how resilient and strong our community is."

The first episode of On The Frontline will be available from midnight Monday, November 9 wherever you get your podcasts.

Have you listened to The Daily Examiner's first podcast, Cowper?

How to listen to Cowper podcast

The faces behind the region's worst tragedy

Untold stories revealed in new podcast