Firey killed in bushfire named

A photo of the fire at Bean Creek
Firefighters have been battling the fire at Bean Creek, where a volunteer firefighter has died following a medical episode. Picture: Facebook /Alicia Ducat

A volunteer firefighter killed while fighting a blaze on the NSW Northern Rivers has been remembered for his “unwavering commitment”.

Senior Deputy Captain John Holmes was helping fight the Bean Creek Fire, about 15km north of Bonalbo when he suffered a medical episode.

Fellow RFS members attempted to administer medical assistance, including the use of a defibrillator, until ambulance arrived at the scene.

In a statement, the NSW RFS said Mr Holmes’ death was a “great loss” after more than 50 years with the volunteer fire service.

“(Mr Holmes’) unwavering commitment was recognised with a Life Membership in June 2022,” NSW RFS said.

“John was of course more than a volunteer firefighter; he was a role model and mentor to many.

“His exceptional skills and hard work earned him numerous accolades throughout his career.

Senior Deputy Captain John Holmes was  helping fight the Bean Creek Fire when he suffered a medical episode. Picture: NSW RFS
Senior Deputy Captain John Holmes was helping fight the Bean Creek Fire when he suffered a medical episode. Picture: NSW RFS

“John’s legacy will forever be proudly etched in the history of the RFS and the Mallanganee Brigade.

“His passing will be deeply felt, but John’s memory will continue to inspire his fellow members.

“Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and RFS colleagues during this difficult time.”

RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers paid tribute to the volunteer on Saturday, and said support would be given to his family and brigade.

“This is a terrible tragedy, where a volunteer helping protect his community has paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Commissioner Rogers said.

“Our thoughts are with his family, friends and firefighting colleagues at this terrible time. We are offering every assistance to his family and fellow brigade members.”

On Saturday, the RFS responded to a 417ha bushfire on Bean Creek Rd.

As of 2pm it was listed as ‘being controlled,’ which means strategies were either in place or planned for the entire perimeter of the fire.

A photo of the fire at Bean Creek
Firefighters have been battling the fire at Bean Creek, where a volunteer member died following a medical episode. Picture: Facebook /Alicia Ducat

A moderate fire warning is in place on Saturday and Sunday for the Far North Coast, however, an extreme and high fire danger rating is in place for Monday and Tuesday.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast temperatures to reach 33C on Monday, before they fall to 25C on Tuesday.

Emergency Services Minister Jihad Dib thanked the firefighter for his service.

“My heart goes out to the family of the brave volunteer who lost his life today defending the people of NSW on the frontline of this fire,” Mr Dib said.

“Our emergency services volunteers give so much to help keep others safe, and we are devastated that today this firefighter gave his life in service to our community.

“I would also like to pay tribute to the brigade members who came to his assistance today, and who are also in our thoughts as they mourn the loss of a valued colleague.”