While our brave RFS volunteers continue to battle the worsening conditions across the Mid Coast LGA and beyond, there is a group of unsung heroes working long hours behind the scenes.
Without these volunteers fire fighters would go hungry.
They are members of the Tuncurry RFS Mid Coast catering south staff, a small group of seven who have been working up to 12 hours a day since the bushfire crisis began at Minimbah in late October.
Headed by catering captain Max Morton, the team is feeding thousands on the ground stretching from Tuncurry out to Minimbah and up to Wauchope.
Coming off a 17 hour shift on Sunday-Monday morning, Phyllis Morton and catering senior, John Smith were putting the finishing touches to the last of the 400 food packs.
"We dropped 100 meals at Taree last night (Sunday) and we will take another drop this morning," Phyllis said.
Packs, made up of foodstuffs donated by members of the community and local businesses. include sandwiches, water, fruit, lollies and snacks and juice.
Mindful of everyone's dietary needs, they also cater for volunteers with celiac.
"We have been inundated with food and water," Phyllis said.
"Everyone has been so generous; we are so grateful."
The team was brought to tears during the weekend when a parcel of goodies packed by local youngsters was delivered to the site.
"Kids have been making up snack packs with letters of thanks to the volunteers."
"It is amazing."
During the recent Darawank fires the team put their catering skills on show, cooking up batches of hot meals - spaghetti, curried sausages and chicken carbonara.
John has been a volunteer RFS for 40 years, firstly as a fire fighter in Singleton before moving on to catering 19 years ago with a move to the Great Lakes.
"I enjoy it," he said.
Max and Phyllis joined up when they moved to the area 10 years ago - primarily to meet new people.
"And, to give something back to the community," Phyllis said.
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