The meaning of the term 'hero' has been diluted through its everyday application to celebrities such as footballers and cricketers. So I think we have to call our CFA Volunteers SuperHeroes - they've done an incredible job against unbelievable odds often working round and round the clock with no thoughts beyond fighting the fire close at hand.
So far at least no CFA volunteer has lost their life, though two NSW firefighter are reported as seriouly injured this morning.
The reward for many firefighters is that while they've been selflessly saving many houses they've lost their own.
Neil Creek, a photographer, has close connection to the fires. On his blog he says, "There are many stories of suffering and loss, but one of them in particular has touched me. A friend of mine, Erin, used to live in Kinglake, one of the worst-hit areas. Most of her family still lives there, and they have lost everything. Her brother Ben, a father and CFA member (volunteer firefighter), was away from his home, fighting the huge fires elsewhere when his house burned down (his family are safe)."
Neil is auctioning a limited edition print of a country scene in Mansfield, near the fires and typical of the country side that's been devastated. The proceeds will go to benefit Ben and his family as they rebuild after the fire.
Bid here -- http://preview.tinyurl.com/neilcreek-auction