Fighting to win a Super Rugby game is easy when you're about to fight a fire on your doorstep.
So it's understandable Ryan Lonergan walked away from Canberra Stadium with mixed emotions after an ACT Brumbies' win on Friday night.
The scrumhalf started game day on the roof of his family's Williamsdale property, clearing gutters and filling water tanks in preparations for what have been described as the worst conditions in 17 years.
Lonergan and his family have decided to fight to save their home from the Orroral Valley fire, which prompted the ACT government to declare a state of emergency for the first time since 2003.
"[Saturday] isn't going to be any good. It's predicted to hit us, but we're pretty prepared," Lonergan said before leaving Canberra Stadium.
"We'll be ready if it comes. This morning I was prepping to not lose the house, so it didn't really feel like I was about to play a game of rugby.
"But I didn't mind it because it did put it all into perspective. I was at home prepping so it doesn't burn to the ground and then you come out here to play a game with your mates.
"It's not taking away from the win, but it definitely puts [rugby] in perspective."
The Brumbies beat the Queensland Reds 27-24 in the first game of the season in searing heat.
The smoke from the Orroral Valley fire could be seen at the southern end of the ground, serving as a constant reminder that rugby results mattered little in the context of a much bigger fight.
The Lonergans have been on fire watch for most of the summer. And staff members who live in the southern suburbs could be affected.
Lonergan and younger brother Lachlan, who both have Brumbies deals, cancelled their Super Rugby recovery plans to grab hoses and spent most of Saturday watching fire predictions and wind directions.
The family has spent most of the fire season on high alert given the dry conditions and have family affected in Tharwa.
The Orroral Valley fire was "rapidly escalating" on Saturday morning, moving south-east and also spreading north towards Tuggeranong.
"It's so unpredictable. We've got gravity-fed water and bore water ... fire hose attachments around the house and in-ground sprinklers on the lawn out the front.
"I built a trailer two years ago purpose built for this sort of stuff, it holds 15,000L and we've got a slip-on unit that holds 400L.
"[Not playing round one] did cross my mind. If it was really coming for home, Dan spoke to me and said it would be fine [to miss the match]. Luckily it didn't and I was able to play."
McKellar and his family are closely watching the fire. Police and Army officers were telling people in McKellar's Chapman street to prepare their fire plans.
The January heat, the fire burning in the ACT and the state of emergency contributed to a modest crowd as the Brumbies held on to beat the Reds.
McKellar said his entire squad had been touched by the affect of bushfires this summer, and players will visit Braidwood next weekend for a fire appeal fundraising rugby tournament.
Several former Brumbies are coming out of retirement for the event, joining 40 teams to raise funds on Saturday.
Ben Alexander has recruited Peter Kimlin, Andrew Smith, Henry Vanderglas, Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Huia Edmonds and Frankie Fainifo to play for the "Dockheads" against teams from across the region.
The Brumbies invited players from other Canberra sporting teams, including the Canberra Raiders, to their first game to show support for the RFS.
Seeing Raiders hooker Siliva Havili in full Raiders kit on the sideline before the Brumbies match raised plenty of eyebrows given the Green Machine don't play their first home game until March 13.
Havili was joining the Brumbies as part of the "We Are One" campaign, with Canberra codes and teams uniting to raise money for those affected by fires and the pay their respects to RFS members.