MAL Linke says life is about helping each other.
“When the situation arises, you rise to the situation,” he said on Tuesday afternoon.
Standing in the Gazette fire station surrounded by people who were affected by the fire that burnt more than 3000 hectares, Mr Linke says he never thought twice about lending a hand.
The Dunkeld volunteer firefighter left his own farm to help.
“I feel sorry for the people that got burnt out,” he said.
“If you can help somebody, of course you do.
“That’s what we were put here for.
“We have to help one another. That’s what life is about.”
He helped mop-up the Gazette fires on Sunday morning and after getting three hours sleep he was back at work on his own property.
“I’ve got a farm to run – I had sheep to feed,” he said.
He said he wasn’t tired – yet.
“The adrenalin kicks in and you don’t feel it,” Mr Linke said.
“Even with three hours sleep on Sunday morning I was good as gold – until Sunday night then I flaked a little bit.”
On Tuesday he was back at the Gazette fire ground, alongside fellow volunteer Brian Ball.
The pair were on the Hensley Park truck ensuring no further flare-ups would occur.
“By the end of the day we don’t want to see any smoke rising in case of weather changes,” Mr Ball said.
Mr Linke said the fires on Saturday night at Gazette were fierce.
It also destroyed another home on the Moyle family property. He said the flames from the fire were huge.
“Somebody said it was like the moon coming up, but I knew it wasn’t the moon,” he said.
Praise has rolled in for CFA volunteers.
Hawkesdale’s Ros Stewart posted to The Standard’s Facebook page: “People wonder why we love living ‘out here’. It is like many small communities: when the chips are down, everyone pulls together. I feel very proud to be a member of this community. I am also the very proud wife of our CFA captain. Our brigade and all brigades in the area and strike teams from outside our area - did a magnificent job under very challenging conditions.
“Your service to your communities is admired greatly.”
CFA’s Assistant Chief Officer Rohan Luke also thanked the firefighters “for their tireless efforts in protecting life and property”.
“I have been blown away by the level of dedication and work that has been achieved in responding to the south-west fires since Saturday evening,” he said.