'We have saved more homes than we have lost'
"WE HAVE saved more homes than we have lost."
Standing at the Long Gully Road Control Centre a few kilometres east of Drake, Field Incident Controller Group officer Brian McDonough said firefighters had done an amazing job of saving life and property.
RFS confirmed while eight homes had been destroyed and one damaged in the Long Gully Road Fires, 36 homes in the immediate were saved.
Across the state firefighters have saved over 220 homes, the RFS said.
Mr McDonough said the Long Gully Road Fire, which has burned out 43,000 hectares, and roared toward the tiny village of Drake, had largely been kept at bay by the concentrated efforts of firefighters.
But late yesterday the fire breached containment lines in the Sandy Point area and was burning close to properties.
Homes in the area of Macleods Creek Road were under threat.
Conditions may make it tricky for Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott to visit Drake today, but they are also due in Tenterfield.
Mr McDonough said firefighters had been battling hard to save lives and property.
"We have five helicopters drafting water to support the 112 RFS personnel with 30 fire trucks and 17 Fire & Rescue firefighters and five trucks," he said.
Mr McDonough raised his voice as the helicopters carrying their massive buckets of water ferried the essential support to firefighters on the ground continued their relentless task.
Jaqueline King, whose property between Tabulam and Drake was on the highway, said she was very happy to see the fire trucks and hear the helicopters pass overhead.
"We are really grateful for all the volunteer RFS firefighters, for all the firefighters who are here," she said.
She said the February fires, which devastated the region stopped at her property's boundary, meaning there was no blacked area around their house.
"It was really good to see the fire trucks arrive here at my property this morning and to hear the helicopters overhead," she said.
"I'm here with my daughters, dogs, cats and the two horses in the house yard and have had their tails cut just in case.
"Last night it was a bit nerve-wracking and there was a spot fire on my property."