Rural firies' huge sacrifice to fight 'horrendous' inferno
THEY'RE the small rural fire brigade that's on the front line of one of the state's biggest infernos - and they're taking it on with everything they've got.
The Wartburg Rural Fire Brigade is the entry point to the Deepwater bushfire, with a command post set up at their station.
And as the local fire brigade, it's their properties they're trying to protect.
First officer Judy Ferrari has described the blaze they are trying to control as "horrendous" and "hell on wheels".
"It's like nothing I've seen in my life," she said.
"We have sacrificed to be away from our properties that are being impacted."
Firefighters from around Queensland and more than 100 from New South Wales are working to control the blaze which has burned more than 16,000 hectares.
"We have animals, we have our properties and we can't do anything about it but hope all the other firies who are our big brothers and sisters are looking after us," Ms Ferrari said.
"Words can't express how proud (I am of this team)."
The make-up of the team at Wartburg, in Baffle Creek, is part of what makes it special. Half of the team's firefighters are women.
The crew includes female crew leaders and officers amongst the ranks, whose motto is "standing up and stepping out".
Yesterday crews were fighting to protect one of the servicewoman's properties.
Ms Ferrari said it was tough working through knowing what was happening in their backyards.
"It's a double-edged sword, we do know what's going on and that can be good and bad," she said.
"Too much information sometimes is a bit scary for us."
Kiki Morgan, a firefighter of four years and the brigade's secretary described the situation as "scary".
"This is the biggest fire I've ever been involved in ... we've had fires before but nothing like this," she said.
"Not being able to get into contact with some people and the sheer size of it (are the biggest challenges).
"We've got an awesome crew here and then all the units who've come into help, they've been great as well.
"All the support from the Gladstone region and the Bundaberg region, it's all like one big family.
"We've been crying, we've been hanging off each other and we've had our moments, but we've got a fantastic team."