It was a packed Fathers Day yesterday for the Nambucca Heads Fire and Rescue team, but not in the way they would have liked.
After a very early start to the day extinguishing a pylon along the Wellington Drive boardwalk, they were called out again just after lunch - this time to a small bushfire on the Shelly Beach headland.
When the crew arrived at Shelly Beach Rd they found a resourceful and dedicated bystander rushing buckets of seawater up the slope to try and combat the flames single-handedly.
Captain Rob Couchman said the fire was clearly lit through human action, but he wasn't convinced this incident was deliberate.
"With the fire being so close to the road and the beach where lots of people were, it would have been difficult for someone to light it and go unnoticed," he said.
He said it was more likely the result of recklessness - like a carelessly flicked cigarette butt which, in these dry conditions, has the potential to do some real damage in very little time.
"And unfortunately we didn't get the rain over the weekend that was forecast, so everyone needs to be extra vigilant," he said.
Smokers are urged to thoughtfully and mindfully butt out and bin their spent cigarettes in these challenging conditions.