A community broadcaster and former Junee man has been thanked for his extraordinary efforts during the Black Summer bushfires.
Station manager David Eisenhauer worked up to 18 hours a day at Tumut's Sounds of the Mountains radio station as the Dunns Road fire tore through the Snowy Valleys.
He recalls one particularly harrowing day when a widespread blackout which left his local station as the only voice in the region while the fire bore down on Adelong.
"That one day, the only voice that we had was Peter Jones [from the Rural Fire Service] and we were on generator power and there was nothing else," Mr Eisenhauer said.
"Everyone had a different theory of what was happening and where the fire was coming from and our job was to relay as basic as you can be, the information that saves lives."
Mr Eisenhauer and his team were sleeping in the station at the height of the fires as they spent weeks broadcasting information direct from the RFS and other authorities.
"It was dark at around 3 o'clock in the afternoon ... You don't want to go through that every summer I can tell you," Mr Eisenhauer said.
Mr Eisenhauer said while "everyone did the best they could" he thought communications facilities such as towers could be better prepared for the event of another fire.
"That's already being started. We're seeing communication towers in the region being cleared ... of undergrowth," he said.
"So if a fire does come, we can maintain those telephone service and maintain the television and radio services.
Snowy Valleys James Hayes said the work of the Mr Eisenhauer and his team had been "absolutely invaluable".
"Not only was the station manager working up to 18 hours a day for 50 days, it's right opposite the emergency operations centre and the Rural Fire Service guy could walk straight across the road," Cr Hayes said.
Cr Hayes said the Dunns Road fire had brought to light the communications barriers faced by people in the region.
"A lot of them relate to mobile phone blackspots ... Places like Yaven Creek that desperately need a base station for mobile phones," he said.
"We were fortunate in the last round of blackspot funding to get some more towers but given the value of the resources up here ... you really need protection."
Mr Eisenhauer said people could "end up relying too much on electronic communications".
"So many people [during the fires] didn't have even electricity let alone mobile phone service," he said.