A son, dad, and a granddad have returned home in triumph after joining forces to beat back the fires threatening the people of Tumut.
Over three gruelling nights son Ronald Harris, dad Lawrence Harris, and granddad Ron Harris combined three generations of firefighting know-how to protect towns, houses, and forestries.
The firefighting family spent the first night frantically battling a raging fire that had leapt over a containment line and was racing towards the township of Tumut.
The three Harrises fought fire with family, and with their combined efforts they beat back the flames and save the town from a fiery fate.
It was too early to celebrate; on the second night the trio had to fight a fire that was making a beeline towards a large, highly flammable forest.
It was a literal uphill battle, with winds pushing the flames upwards through hilly terrain covered in thick pine, but after a long struggle the firefighters managed to bring the fires under control.
The third night was mercifully calm, with most of the time spent mopping up, protecting houses, and attending to some smaller-scale fires.
It was the first time all three Harisses had gone on deployment together, and Granddad Ron Harris said he was proud of his son and grandson for rising to the occasion under some truly tough conditions.
Ron is the Carrathool brigade group captain, and he came to mentor the younger firefighters by drawing upon his 48 years of firefighting experience.
"You'll get more knowledge by going out and fighting two fires than you will by reading 1000 textbooks," Ron said.
"The book will tell you to do this and that, but a fire doesn't listen to what a book says - it does what it wants to do."
Dad Lawrence Harris said it had been a rough three nights, but that it was all worth it when the locals came up and thanked them for saving their community.
"The people you're helping are beautiful people," Lawrence said.
"They're so touched that people who live nowhere near them have come to help them."
Looking back on the exhausting three-day ordeal, son Ronald Harris said it had been an eye-opening deployment.
"We all worked as a team, got the job done, and it was a really good experience," Ronald said.
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