How do heroes relax in between the high tension shifts of fighting the unpredictable wildness of a big bushfire?
The crews of the Rural Fire Services of the ACT and New South Wales have spent the best part of a week tackling the blaze to the east of Canberra. They have different ways of conserving their energies in the short time between shifts.
Brett Vey takes a photograph of a sunrise when he heads off to a fire. Looking at the picture keeps him calm.
Nick Hornbuckle doesn't relax - unless you count walking around with the dog in the middle of the night as relaxation.
His partner, Anneka Hughes, who is also a volunteer fire fighter, sleeps, aided by a book and a cup of tea.
All have worked long and grueling hours over the last week, saving lives and property in the Tallaganda National Park.
Now they're back at their day jobs a million miles from the stress and tempo of their night jobs as volunteer firefighters.
Brett Vey is a foreman of the gardeners at the American embassy. Nick Hornbuckle is an office worker at a technology company in Symonston in the ACT.
But over the past week, Mr Hornbuckle has been Captain Hornbuckle of the Queanbeyan City Rural Fire Brigade, which is part of the NSW Rural Fire Service.
On Friday morning, he started at 8.30, headed to the fire with his crew and worked there until 2.30 on Saturday morning.
He then started again at 8.30 on Saturday morning and finished at 9pm on Saturday evening.
On Sunday, he worked from just after noon until 9pm.
That's more than a 40-hour week crammed into three days and nights.
Because fighting a serious bushfire is so intense, with life or death decisions and spot fires and wind changes, he found it hard to switch off in the few hours he had in bed.
His partner, Anneka, was in the same fire crew. She could sleep between shifts but he couldn't: "We were both shattered by it but I was all geed up so it was very hard to sleep. I played around with my dog. I only relax when the job's over."
Mr Vey of the Molonglo Brigade of the ACT Rural Fire Service may be a calmer character.
As he headed out in the truck on Saturday morning, he took a picture of the sunrise and the occasional glance at the image through the day eased his mind. You might call it the zen of the soothing picture.
"It keeps me calm. It keeps me grounded."
He's also a fitness fanatic and the gym clears his mind in normal times. During fires, he will sometimes do physical exercise as a diversion. "I might even do push-ups during a deployment," he said.
He has missed big family events like his wife's birthday because of the call of duty.
"I have a very supportive wife and two sons," he said. "That makes it a lot easier.
"It's trying sometimes but we've built a strong bond so I can fulfill my dream.
"She knows I love doing it. She doesn't want to let me go sometimes but she knows I've got to."
He's been a volunteer fireman with the ACT since 2005. His grandfather was a fire captain so the calling is deep inside him. He feels his crew is like a second family.
He is in charge of gardeners at the American embassy and Mr Hornbuckle works at Citadel Technology.
Both employers release their employees when nature gets difficult.
In NSW, there is some legal protection for employees who go off to fight a fire.
Any employee who was "victimised" (say by being fired or having his working conditions changed) for leaving work to fight a fire would have legal protection against unfair dismissal.
The caveat is that the emergency has to be formally declared by the state premier before the legal protection is available.
But at the end of it all, the system depends on volunteers: employees volunteering to spend long days and nights fighting fires for the good of the community and employers volunteering to allow people to do good things for the rest of us.