The moment exhausted, emotional firie took a breath
'I KNOW you think this photo makes you vulnerable, but in that moment, we both felt this.'
These were a wife's words to her volunteer firefighter husband after she took this extraordinary photograph of him.
Aaron Cox, a Ballandean rural firefighter, sits exhausted and emotional after his crew managed to save property from one ferocious fire.
The crew had one brief moment before they needed to leave and find out where they were headed to next.
"It was just a moment where I took a breath out and collected my thoughts," Aaron Cox said.
"A moment where I went 'that just happened, what do I do now?"
Wife Belinda said "this is a man who has fought hard for his community since Friday and has just finished the epic fight to save his own house when he had nothing left in the tank to begin with."
"I know you think this photo makes you look vulnerable, but in that moment we both felt this."
The photo was taken moments after having saved Cypress Ridge Cottages and their home from destruction on Eukey Rd.
As Mr Cox and other fireys watched the fire race forward, it veered and headed straight to Mr Cox's property.
"The fire started down the back paddock in the adjoining property and came running up the hill," he said.
"As it came up the hill it sort of did a bit of a right hand turn and rolled up the top of the ridge towards my house and went over my house into a bit of bushland between another house.
"Then we started fighting it."
Mr Cox moved to the area in 2014.
It was a fire that year that spurred him to join the rural firefighters.
"The reason I signed up originally was because, not long after we moved here, there was a fire and it ran past the back of our house in the opposite direction to this one.
"I signed up quickly thereafter thinking it's not really right I should have all these people here looking after my house when I haven't offered them the same."
He was deployed to Tenterfield on Friday when blazes took off there. When the situation in his own backyard escalated, he was whisked back.
"When we drove back into town it was like a bomb had gone off."
He spent 15 hours on the front line on Saturday and has been hard at work since.
"It has been frightening at times, boring at others.
"Been a lot of standing around and waiting for the fire to come to us.
"But when it's on it's on and you don't really think about it much and just make sure everyone is safe.
"It's been a pretty wild ride."