Fire fighters at the scene of the fire between Drake and Tabulam.
Fire fighters at the scene of the fire between Drake and Tabulam. Marc Stapelberg

Mayor praises community efforts during 'hellish' few days

DESPITE a "hellish” few days amid an ongoing bushfire crisis in Tenterfield Shire, mayor Peter Petty said he has "never been more proud” of his communities.

Dangerous fire conditions last Friday saw fires burning in south Tenterfield, Legume and Drake, destroying nine homes with assessments ongoing in the Drake area.

Cr Petty said he has been "blown away” by the strength, resilience and care shown by Tenterfield Shire residents.

"I am deeply humbled but incredibly proud to be mayor of such a wonderful community,” he said.

"The past few days have tested us yet again and we have not been found wanting.

"Despite the fear, the terror, and the devastation that this new round of fires has brought, people are showing their determination and resilience to keep our communities going and to help their fellow man.”

Cr Petty said while the Tenterfield and Legume fires were under control, residents near Drake, Ewingar, Sandy Hill and Tilbaroo were "still battling pretty hard”.

"Our fire crews have performed impossible tasks against unbelievable odds and although there have unfortunately been losses of homes, property and livestock, you have all done an incredible job and for this, on behalf of the council, I wish to thank each and every one of you,” he said.

"My thanks also to the fire crews from far away who have answered the call and come back to help the people of Tenterfield and Drake.”

He said he commended the minister for "moving so quickly” to announce a disaster declaration.

"It will be able to help our communities get back on their feet,” he said.

Cr Petty said he has been amazed by the droves of volunteers offering help and assistance, especially at the evacuation centre located at Tenterfield Showground.

"The evacuation centre has been working really well. They are all doing an outstanding job,” he said.

"I encourage anyone who is in need of support or needs a place to go to speak to the disaster welfare people on hand.”



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