Two blokes and a ute help save dozens of homes from blaze
Two blokes with a makeshift firefighting ute have helped RFS volunteers defend the hillside town of Wyndham where dozens of homes were saved from bushfires at the weekend.
Only four properties were destroyed in the town, despite the Big Jack Mountain fire devastating the Bega Shire as temperatures reached 42C on Saturday.
Wyndham, on the state's south coast, was expected to cop the full brunt of the ferocious blaze, which merged with two other major fires
And while others fled, locals Sheldon Evans and Chris Veness stayed behind to help with the 16-hour firefight in their town.
The duo strapped a 1000-litre tank on the back of their ute and attached it to a mechanical pump.
Mr Sheldon was behind the wheel while Mr Veness clung to the back of the ute and sprayed down fires all over the town.
"The RFS has been good and let us suck water out of their tanks," Mr Evans told The Daily Telegraph.
The pair were in full force when the ember attack started on Wyndham at around 4pm on Sunday.
Two hours later the mates had another trailer and tank attached to their ute.
"It is our town, we are just trying our best to protect it," Mr Veness said.
"I'd always been told spot fires are the ones that destroy homes - we didn't want to let that happen to our friends and neighbours."
The two men even managed to save a Rosella suffering smoke inhalation. It was wrapped in a beanie before being placed in the glove box next to a cold Esky.
Despite only destroying four homes in Wyndham, the bushfire ended up claiming dozens more across the Bega Shire.
"This pushes our total losses in Bega Valley to well over 400," Bega Valley Shire Mayor Kristy McBain said.
"It's hard for people because this has been going on for 34 days and counting.
"We had homes lost on day one and day 34 we are still losing homes."
Just outside of Wyndham, mother of two Allana Jones lost her shed.
It was her fifth evacuation from the town in the past month.
Her partner Will Hatcher had been staying in their friend's caravan at a small town near Merimbula.
"It is just the stress of it. We don't know what is happening when the fires come," Ms Jones said.
"I'm at the point now I don't even know what I need to take when are told to evacuate."
She spent Saturday night with her friend Hayley Lewis.
"It is so worrying when you have friends who live in these areas," she said.
At 6pm there are 70 fires burning, 30 are not contained. There are 2,200 firefighters in the field.— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) February 2, 2020
Widespread thunderstorms and lightning strikes today may produce new ignitions. Cooler conditions have seen reduced fire activity across most firegrounds today. #nswrfs #nswfires pic.twitter.com/0PuwWOhIqJ