When a busload of tired, soot-stained firefighters touched down in Griffith on Wednesday they were greeted by another fresh-faced crew who were raring and ready to take their place on the Batlow firefront.
The returned firefighters had spent three exhausting nights performing large-scale backburns, setting up containment lines, and beating back the "undefendable" fires threatening homes in nearby Tumut.
One of the returning firefighters was Widgelli Group Captain John Payne who said he was immensely proud of his crew, especially the ones who had never gone on deployment before.
They were up against some truly brutal conditions in unfamiliar terrain, but Mr Payne said it was all worth it when the Tumut locals came up and thanked all of them for saving their homes.
"When they come up and give you a pat on the back that's all you need. It gives you the power to drag through another day," Mr Payne said.
"That's why we do it: to help someone on their worst day."
The MIA firefighters met with comrades from fire stations from all across Australia, as well as a team from New Zealand and Canada.
"You meet some really good, like-minded people," Mr Payne said.
"They're all dedicated to the cause of helping people, and when you've got a common goal you build a lot of good friendships."
When the firefighters returned to Griffith they had Strike Team MIA 0402 all geared up and ready to take their place, with firies coming in from every single district in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area.
One of them was Barellan Rural Fire Service firefighter Dean Koerper, who decided he couldn't stand by and do nothing after seeing the rolling news coverage of the bushfires ravaging the state.
"Watching the other boys on the news collapsed from exhaustion - I just had to do something," Mr Keorper said.
"It's not going to stop unless someone puts it out."
It was the first deployment for Merrowie Creek farmer and firefighter Michael Storrier, who was all geared up and ready to go and help his fellow farmers and firies in Tumut.
"If I can give somebody a hand, help out another farmer, protect some local houses - that'll be enough," Mr Storrier said.
The firefighters will be returning back on Saturday at the Griffith RFS station, where the next rotation of fresh-faced firies will be there to take their place.
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