George Calleja is no stranger to bushfire conditions.
Serving as the Bamawm Extension Fire Brigade Captain the lively identity continues to lead the 32-member 2092 strike team, one of many deployed from Victoria, to assist with fires across the NSW Hunter Valley region this week.
"We arrived on Monday night and then by Tuesday we were sent straight to Greta, or 'Gretta' as we Victorians call it," Mr Calleja said on Wednesday morning.
To help set the scene, an emergency warning had been sent out at 4:30pm to Greta residents advising those in the area to seek shelter. By that time a bushfire was located on Harper Street and bound for Hollingshed Street.
"Once we arrived we thought to ourselves, 's-t has hit the fan'," he continued.
"Unfortunately by the time we arrived there one of the sheds had gone up already so we couldn't get to that but the RFS boys got some of the pumpers through there.
"I then sent some tankers in to support them and get the sheds under control."
Crews on the ground were aided by four aircraft until 7:10pm.
However the dust had not settled just yet according to the visiting leader.
"Within two or three hours we had it quite established and we were blacking out but then we saw some smoke on a property at Harper Road," he concluded.
"We went to the backyard to investigate but unfortunately by that time we found a ride-on lawn mower which had caught on fire.
"There was also a kid's trampoline, the backyard fence and then the entire backyard was on fire.
"But I'm very proud of my team because we were able to save that house."
Prior to this week, Mr Calleja admits that the 1997 Sydney bushfires were the furthest disaster he had attended since the beginning of his career in 1989.
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