ABOUT 50 Border firefighters are in the midst of the fight against one of the most serious bushfire threats to hit NSW.
Thirty Country Fire Association firefighters from brigades including Wodonga, Wodonga West, Tallangatta and Bright left yesterday afternoon to join about 20 Rural Fire Service personnel from Albury who travelled north on Thursday.
More crews from Swan Hill, Kerang and Bendigo met in Wodonga before heading north yesterday.
The district’s operations manager, Adrian Gutsche, said local crews began travelling to fire-affected areas around Sydney on Thursday as ground observers.
“A few more are going today to map and work out where houses are burnt and to intelligence gather,” Mr Gutsche said yesterday.
“With more fire danger days coming, it’s also to bolster and give the guys there a break.”
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said this week the fire fight in areas north, south and west of Sydney was “as bad as it gets”.
Bright’s brigade captain Paul Mansfield, a CFA volunteer of 30 years, left with four of his men yesterday.
Mr Mansfield said they didn’t think twice when asked to help.
“They come down and help us, we go up and help them,” Mr Mansfield said in Wodonga.
“And that’s what we do.
“We’ve been through it plenty of times before.”
Wodonga West CFA volunteer Peter Mobilia, who was also preparing to leave yesterday, was going into his second fire season.
He was on the fire ground at Harrietville last season and that was fresh in his mind.
“It’s doing something to help the community,” Mr Mobilia said.
“You don’t get money in return, you’re helping the community out.”