Stacey Wilson can't remember what was running through her head when Canberra Times photographer Sitthixay Ditthavong captured her with a hose slung over her shoulder, ready for a fight.
The Milton Rural Fire Brigade volunteer and her crew were the last line of defence when a wall of flames bore down on houses on Murramarang Road at Bawley Point, on the South Coast last Thursday.
Whatever was in her mind in that moment, it wasn't fear. Hours of training every weekend ground that reaction out of her long ago.
"When you're out there, there's no time for fear," Ms Wilson said.
"You just know what you've got to do and you do it."
Ms Wilson crashed into bed after her 12-hour shift and woke up a local celebrity.
Her image had been splashed across the front page of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times.
"I woke up on Friday morning and I had about a dozen messages from friends saying 'oh my god, you're famous' and I was like 'what are you talking about'," Ms Wilson said.
The image of Ms Wilson, strong and defiant, caused a visceral reaction for many people.
Historically, firefighting has been a male-dominated profession.
So seeing Ms Wilson in the thick of it provoked strong feelings.
"Such a powerful portrayal of a firefighter," one social media comment read.
Five people have come in looking to sign up since the Bawley firefight.
The strength of that reaction has been surprising to Ms Wilson.
A cleaner and mother to two young children, she joined the Rural Fire Service around a year ago, looking for a way to give back.
"I didn't think I'd be cut out for it. When I did my first initial fire ... I didn't know if I'd be able to handle the heat of it but I did and I shocked myself and it made me love it even more," Ms Wilson said.
"Your face will feel like it's melting off but you've got to do what you've got to do. You've got to try and get it under control."
Ms Wilson's grandmother helps out with her seven-year-old son and two-year-old daughter while she puts in hours at the station and on the fire ground. Whenever a helicopter flies over, her daughter chirps "mummy, fire".
"Nan's a superhero, I love her. I'm very close with her," Ms Wilson said.
But Ms Wilson bristles against descriptions of herself as strong or inspiring.
"It doesn't take a strong person to do this. Like I know for sure I'm not strong. At all. Mentally," she laughed.
"I have suffered depression for many years and this is my escape. It's my way of keeping my mind active and not overthinking anything because I know what I've got to do and I do it. But yeah I think it's very rewarding and anyone can do anything. They've just got to believe in themselves."
Shoalhaven Rural Fire Service District Officer Brad Collins said she is selling herself short.
"None of this is possible without troops on the ground ... without people like Stacey we just couldn't do it," Mr Collins said.
And he could certainly use more people like her.
Volunteer firefighters are facing unprecedented pressures, as the summer fire season gets longer and winter gets shorter.
"I'm coming up to 10 years now and this has been the busiest summer I've experienced so far," Mr Collins said.
In the northern part of the state, crews are seeing fire rip through areas which had undergone hazard reduction burning as little as three months earlier.
More trees are falling over because of the dry conditions, while hot winds are pushing flames through short stubbly grass that wouldn't normally burn.
"That's a little bit scary," Mr Collins said.
Their teams are tired but help has been at hand. Crews from Victoria have come in to help fight the Currowan blaze, while firefighters from the United States and New Zealand are also pitching in.
Firefighting has become a part of who Ms Wilson is, and she's not going to let it go anytime soon.
"I feel like I've got more to do. I'm not just a mother anymore. I've got another purpose in life as well and I can see myself doing this for a very long time," Ms Wilson said.