The Blue Mountains were engulfed by bushfires on Thursday, 17th October 2013 with hundreds of homes destroyed. The fires continued to burn for a week and conditions only intensified after the homes were lost, with Wednesday the 23rd predicted to be catastrophic. The Rural Fire Service commanders undertook a high risk strategy to fight fire with fire in the cool of the night on the Tuesday. A handful of volunteers were at the front line of this strategy, working through the darkness illuminated only by the flames they were fighting. Conditions on the Wednesday proved to be as bad as expected but the vigilance of a band of volunteers kept the fires somewhat under control.
At about 5:00pm the Rural Fire Service downgraded the threat from ‘emergency’ and the Warrimoo RFS crew, who had been protecting Norman Lindsay House in Faulconbridge, took a cricket bat, owned by the Valley Heights RFS, from their truck and relaxed with an impromptu game of cricket. John Donegan, spent the week with crews who were protecting the Faulconbridge area, and recorded for 702 ABC, this portrait of the volunteers in the heat of the battle.