It's to get people together for a day of fun, socialise, talk about things, and forget about the stress.Elwyn Lang, organiser
It's been a cruel summer, but next weekend will be a day for those on the land to forget their troubles for a while and to thank firefighters for their tireless efforts.
The Firies and Farmers Day will be held at the Gold and Fleece Hotel, Windeyer, on Sunday, February 2, from 11am.
With the area copping the twin hits of drought and fires, organisers Elwyn Lang, Greg Hundy and the Windeyer Progress Association, wanted to do something to bring the community together. With the support of the hotel and sponsors Mid-Western Regional Council, the event started to take shape.
And while it's an important fundraiser - especially for the local brigades - Elwyn said that the aim is also to make it a social outing for those who may not have been had such an outing because of tough times.
"The idea was to come up with a way to help support people doing it tough on farms and the firies that have been out for over a month fighting fires as a show of thanks," he said.
"It's to get people together for a day of fun, socialise, talk about things, and forget about the stress."
There'll be a barbecue lunch by the Windeyer Progress Association, music by Tim Yeo and Peter Stoddart, with raffles and a charity auction taking place. It'll be a family day too, with a jumping castle. More info at facebook.com/windeyerhotel/
Major incident declaration concludes
After 53 days of firefighting operations, the major incident declaration for the Mid-Western Region was revoked this week.
Work will continue at a number of firegrounds, particularly Kerry Ridge, extinguishing hotspots to prevent any further re-ignitions. Landholders and residents may still notice smoke as moisture from recent rainfall evaporates and areas of unburnt bush behind containment lines burns out.
"Moving our operations to this point has only been possible following significant undertaking of volunteer firefighters from the NSW RFS and firefighters from NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Matched with the skill and professionalism of our partner agencies, local businesses, water-bombing aircraft and earth-moving machinery operators (and a little assistance from Mother Nature)," the Cudgegong RFS District posted.