FOR the past 27 years Lithgow Rural Fire Service operational officer Craig Davis has been fighting fires in one way or another.
This week he is in Mudgee coordinating the strike teams from the eastern region who have travelled to the area to assist with firefighting efforts.
Mr Davis’ job means he is responsible for making sure new arrivals are tasked to the fire ground. He is responsible for their welfare and ensures they go home at a suitable time.
Since Monday he has had 78 vehicles and 320 firefighters to look after.
Some of those crews are from the Lithgow area, with teams from Hartley, Marangaroo, Wallerawang, South Bowenfels, Portland and Sunny Corner called to assist with the blaze.
“It’s something I like doing, I enjoyed the work as a volunteer, and now I like the volunteers that I work with now,” Mr Davis said.
Lithgow Rural Fire Service Fire Control Centre logistics officer Lyndi Osmond and strike team leader Liz Lewis have also been tasked to work in Mudgee this week.
Mr Davis said the catastrophic conditions earlier in the week meant a change in plans for firefighting crews on the ground.
“Catastrophic conditions mean there is a lot more property protection because controlling the fire is near impossible so we go back to making sure we are protecting life and property,” Mr Davis said.
The NSW Fire Service is continuing their assessment of areas affected by bush fires around the state over the past week.
At this stage a total of 35 homes have been confirmed destroyed, with nine others damaged across the state. A total of 128 outbuildings have been destroyed and 30 others damaged.
The large Sir Ivan Fire in the Warrumbungle Local Government area has seen 25 homes destroyed, six homes damaged, one church destroyed and 104 outbuildings destroyed and 30 damaged.
Lithgow fire crews are assisting with the White Cedars Road fire in the Mid Western Regional Council area near Wollar where one uninhabited home has been destroyed and four outbuildings.