Nimbin RFS Captain Charlie Cohen.
Nimbin RFS Captain Charlie Cohen. Marc Stapelberg

Community prepares for ember attack

AS FIVE blasts of the emergency siren sound out of Tuntable Falls Community Centre across the valleys, signalling everyone to evacuate, even experienced firefighters pause for a moment.

The call to evacuate resounded off the surrounding hills as Rural Fire Service volunteers checked equipment, wolfed a quick meal or sat down to enjoy a few moments rest.

A smoky haze drifted through the paddocks as eight crews gathered from local brigades including Tuncester, Blue Knob, Hanging Rock and Bentley while the divisional commander for the Mt Nardi fires, Charlie Cohen is also senior deputy captain of Nimbin.

Mr Cohen said he is extremely proud of all his firefighters, many of whom have given up work to be available to serve their community.

"The RFS volunteers are doing a great job," he said.

"And the community support has been wonderful."

He said crews were working to protect homes in the Tuntable Falls valley from an expected ember attack.

"The last three days have been flat out backburning," he said.

Deputy-captain Zac Andrews-Engle, 25, said his employer Multi-task was very supportive of his firefighting activities.

Mr Andrews-Engle said he managed a residential home in Goonellabah.

"They basically said how many days do you need?" he said.

"Which was really great."

Several residents slowly drove down the road, loaded up with bicycles, food and clothing, one with a wooden table on the roof rack.

As they passed the firetrucks, one firefighter took down their details to ensure they knew whom had elected to evacuate.

Meanwhile, several members of the Nimbin community arrived with some tasty home baked hot meals.

"It's the least we can do to the firefighters," one young woman said.



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