When the darkness came over Mogo and suburbs near Batemans Bay on New Year's Eve, Mogo RFS brigade was already in the thick of the smoke battling the blaze.
While many people looked at the sky, six crews, including Mogo RFS brigade, faced the flames, the crew's captain said.
Brigade captain Frank Ziegler, with his team of seven volunteers, and other firefighting crews saved as much of the town as possible.
Some politicians and officials met the crew on New Year's Day, including NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, NSW Fire and Rescue Commissioner Paul Baxter and Bega MP Andrew Constance.
"It took a lot of resources to save what we have saved," Captain Ziegler said.
"We ran out of gear, ran out of equipment. It was just too big for what we could handle."
His team was tired on New Year's Day, but continued to put out fires.
"They're exhausted. Everyone's exhausted. It's taking its toll," he said.
"Unfortunately it's not finished, a lot of work to be done.
"It was a very hard job, and still ongoing."
He said properties with surrounding garden and bush were affected the worst.
"One of the worst things in the garden is mulch," he said. "When an ember gets in that, it's very hard to get it out."
He said at least a couple of dozen buildings in Mogo would have been lost to the blaze.
He said it was hard to know what was needed to handle the fire.
"Resources would be ideal, but where does it come from?" he asked.
"We had a lot of brigades here; a lot of trucks, a lot of equipment.
"Obviously we still didn't have enough, but what's enough? It's very hard to put a figure on that."