Heartbreaking photo: Lucky the koala rescued from bushfire
IT WAS Lucky the koala's lucky day when four firefighters ran towards a bushfire to rescue the small frightened marsupial at Bora Ridge.
Fire & Rescue NSW firefighter Paul Sudmals said he and three colleagues, Wayne Koppel, Lloyd Sinapti and Peter Fysh, from Grafton and South Grafton F&R crews, were at the Bora Ridge fire when they saw the koala emerge from the bush.
"We were tasked to protect property at Jackybulbin Flat flat on Thursday, and we were waiting for the fire-front to come up to the road when the koala popped out onto the road," he said.
"When the koala was on the road, it saw us, was scared and confused and went back into the tall grass towards where the fire was raging, so we ran over to try and flush it out.
"Wayne took off his jacket and wrapped it around the koala, we saw it's claws and knew it was bit anxious and we carried it to a safe area."
Mr Sudmals said fortunately the koala, now known as Lucky, was not burned or injured.
Nor were the firefighters thanks to their protective gloves and gear, as a koala's claws can be razor-sharp.
"We gave it some water to drink," he said.
"Then we released the koala, it was really good thing to do in those hot and smoky conditions."
The incident only took a few moments, Mr Sudmals said, but it gave the fire-fighters "a real morale lift."
"People are still beaming," he said.
"This was one of the good days as we saved a lot of properties, so to have have the koala pop out and save its life, this is one of the things which make the job worthwhile.
"Helping this koala was a small victory in the long (fire-fighting) campaign."