WHEN firefighters rushed to out-of-control bushfires across the region this past week, the Rapid Relief Team (RRT) was not far behind.
The dedicated group of volunteers are spread not only across the Central West, but also across Australia and the world.
They team up to provide support at emergencies such as bushfires, large structural fires (such as the Grenfell Tower fire in London), floods, cyclones and other natural disasters.
This past week, they have been on site at fires at Mount Canobolas and Belerada Creek in Gowan to help feed hungry crews so they could continue fighting fires.
RRT general manager communications Sue Ashe said there were around 10,000 RRT volunteers across the world.
Volunteers served up a record-breaking 1138 meals in just 24 hours.Rapid Relief Team's Sue Ashe
“Their main purpose is to provide food, nutrition and water for the emergency services,” she said of the breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks that they have provided.
At the Belerada Creek fire, 27 volunteers spent 124 hours across three days feeding firefighters.
They served up: 155 hamburgers, 100 servings of hot chips, 85 bacon and egg rolls, hash browns and coffee, tea and 55 sandwich packs, fruit and drinks.
At the Mount Canobolas blaze, RRT volunteers served up a record-breaking 1138 meals in just 24 hours.
“Overall at Mount Canobolas, 3321 meals were served by 115 volunteers in 112 hours,” Ms Ashe said.
NSW Rural Fire Service Canobolas Zone logistics officer Liz Lewis said the RRT had been invaluable in supporting firefighters.
“They’ve made a massive difference, they’re very good to deal with and very accommodating,” she said.
Meanwhile, the bushfire at Mount Canobolas was brought under control on Thursday morning thanks to hundreds of firefighters and air crew.
RFS Superintendent David Hoadley said the “war has been won” at the Mount Canobolas blaze.
Crews will however remain on scene for the next few days to ensure any remaining hot spots are extinguished and the fire was “blacked out”.
A total fire ban is in place for Bathurst on Friday with a very high fire danger across the Central Ranges.
- Stay up-to-date with fires in the region on the NSW RFS Fires Near Me website