FIREFIGHTERS working to tackle the mammoth Minnimbah fire at Carabost have come in for high praise by one landowner whose property was ravaged by the inferno.
Scott Munro's property was right in the line of the fire when it swept through bushland around Carabost.
He said the efforts of firefighters to save as much as they could in the face of impossible conditions was amazing, but one heroic effort from a young volunteer stood out for him.
"(There were) hundreds of people in the area giving their all to protect other people's interests," he said.
"But one that stuck out to me was Charlie Sykes."
Mr Sykes is a 20-year-old volunteer from the Humula brigade and has been working around the clock, barely taking the time to rest, since the fire broke out on Saturday afternoon.
Mr Munro credits him with saving numerous cattle on his property at the height of the emergency.
"Right at the height of the fire, Charlie got on his motorbike in the middle of the night and he drove 32 cattle out of Ben Lomond right in the face of the fire," he said.
"This was the main pressure point on Saturday night.
"Since then he's been working around the clock - I saw him (yesterday) morning at seven and he'd been up all night."
Last night, firefighters were still working to contain the Minnimbah fire, which has grown to nearly 11,000 hectares in size, aided by cooler conditions and light winds.
Backburning continued yesterday, though it wasn't all smooth sailing, Riverina Rural Fire Service community safety officer Inspector James Smith said.
"We did have some difficulty on the southern side doing the backburning and we got some spotting outside our control lines," he said.
"But we got the planes and even the air crane on to that and they got around that reasonably quickly."
Favourable weather conditions are predicted for later in the week, which should help firefighters finally bring the blaze under control.
Rain is forecast in the region for Friday, which Inspector Smith would be very welcome.
"If we got 20 millimetres of rain right across the fireground, that would help cool things down considerably," he said.
Over at the Sturgess fire, south of Tumut, firefighters are still working to bring that blaze under control with steep terrain and erratic winds hampering their efforts yesterday.
That fire has now burnt out nearly 2000 hectares, with crews working to secure the blaze's western and southern perimeters.
Due to the Sturgess fire, the western side of Blowering Dam has been closed until at least January 28, while an exclusion zone is in effect on parts of the waterway in order to allow water-bombing aircraft to collect from the dam's surface.