Chris "Doss" O'Sullivan was the touchstone for the Wyndham community - when they didn't know what was happening or who to turn to, it was Doss who provided help.
It hadn't been a deliberate move, more a set of circumstances that placed the long-term Wyndham resident in a position to help.
"I'm good mates with the RFS captain and it was inevitable that the fires were coming so I said I would hang around and do whatever was needed," Doss said.
And that was when it started. People evacuated to Merimbula were understandably anxious about their properties and tried to find out the latest information about the fire's path.
"The Fires Near Me wasn't very helpful especially for those evacuated to Merimbula and so I started the Facebook posts and became the face of the Wyndham and Rocky Hall areas," he said.
"We didn't set up a structured committee for recovery, basically it was me and a few others."
Doss also took on the job of contacting Telstra, council and Essential Energy, which he admits "has a bit of an effect" on him.
"It left me wrung out, tired. I've only recently finished dealing with Telstra.
"Telstra went on for so long I needed to wear a hard hat because I was head butting so much."
But it was no laughing matter and from time to time he would sneak away to the Snowy Mountains for a weekend to find some peace. But on his return the messages, the unanswered phone calls were still there waiting for him.
"I fell into being the go to person while trying to keep my business going at the same time," Doss explained. He runs a painting business employing nine people.
"After the fires everyone wants to help and that was great, but a lot made promises that didn't come to anything or took months to happen," he said.
"What I found when I was trying to get things done was not to ask permission, just tell them where and how you want it and fill out the paperwork later."
He is critical of government and NGO processes and says they need to have better systems in place following a disaster which don't require so much bureaucracy.
"Someone who lost a home had to go to Bega and see 15 organisations. They should have had a case manager who could do it all. I lost sheds, we all had to fill out different forms and deal with different people. The recovery was 10 times as hard as the fire," Doss said.
But there is pride is what the community has achieved.
"I think Wyndham is travelling well. I'm quite proud of that. Eight homes were lost and everyone in Wyndham got rehoused. Overall it's been positive the way people have helped each other and it's been good for my recovery to give people a bit of a hand," Doss said.
Overall it's been positive the way people have helped each other and it's been good for my recovery to give people a bit of a hand.Doss O'Sullivan