'LEGENDS IN THE SKY': How chopper saved woman's house
THE LAST few days have been the most terrifying of Renay Hayes' life at her Glenreagh property.
But despite fires racing towards her house, they are okay for now.
And she thanked some "legends" in the sky for saving them.
"The fire got really close. There were flames we could see coming over the mountain at us," Ms Hayes said.
"It was so scary."
The fire, which Ms Hayes said started in the area from a lightning strike nearly four weeks ago carried over recent backburning due to strong winds, over the road and straight towards her property near Tallawudjah Creek.
"We didn't have warning really," she said. "We knew it was there, but it was a matter of 20 minutes between us being in the safe zone and the flames coming at us."
During the lead-up, Ms Hayes said the sounds of helicopters made her even more petrified, but as the fire got closer, those same helicopters attacked the fire and saved her property.
"The chopper was doing 1 minute 43 seconds from pick up to dump," she said.
"It was terrifying, and we were pretty sure our house was gone, but that legend or legends in that chopper saved us.
"Whoever was in that craft saved my house, and I cannot thank them enough."
Last night, Ms Hayes was recovering from walking 3km to take her horses to safety, and said that they were safe for the moment, though others hadn't been as lucky.
"We are still on evacuation list, but unless the wind comes back we are okay," she said.
"There were friends who lost their houses, but I'm not certain how many are gone. I know two for certain, it's still mighty orange here."
Ms Hayes said she wasn't game to sleep, and was keeping an eye on her neighbour's property in case winds turned around.
"I'll be up all night. My neighbours have evacuated, and I've got to watch the fire and make sure it doesn't come to close as they have a 30-year-old cat inside," she said.
"She can't be moved due to her age. I'll smash windows if I have to to get her out.
"I've been here for 32 years and never seen it like this."