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"And the community here is magic, that's what I'd say. They did us proud."
Mr Rooney, who is also Roxburgh's fire chief, said Roxburgh and Millers Flat residents, together with people on holiday in the area, did a sterling job catering for the army of volunteers.
The Roxburgh Area School home economics room was set up as the base, and teacher Jenny Wilson was one of a team of about 15 people helping with catering.
"People just pull together to do everything they can to help each other. Everyone knows the firemen and we know they were up since 5am on New Year's Day because we heard the siren go off then [for a smaller grass fire]."
Some of the catering volunteers helped all night then went to work the next morning.
Jimmy's Pies, savouries, and hot chips were among the food which "arrived" at the base from businesses in town.
Volunteers made hundreds of sandwiches and provided coffee to the firefighters throughout the evening and following day.