Holidaymakers at Clifton turned out to be really happy campers as they pitched-in with buckets to help put out a threatening fire near their camp on Wednesday night.

The fire spread from a beach fire into toetoe out of sight of the camp but billowing towards the holidaymakers who quickly leapt onto quad bikes or ran to the blaze which camp caretaker Bob Pollock estimated was about 300m away towards Cape Kidnappers.

The alarm was raised at 4.44pm and caretaker's daughter Kerry Pollock said that within minutes a bucket brigade of possibly more than 30 people was stretched up the beach feeding the water to fight the fire.

Mr Pollock said the wind was blowing towards the camp, and could have spread dangerously into trees neighbouring the camp had it not been for the spontaneous response of the bucket brigade.


"We could see the smoke coming through the trees," he said, and his daughter said: "It was quite close, but all of a sudden half the camp was there. They just grabbed their buckets, got on their bikes and went straight down there."

Among them, she said, were "a couple of retired firefighters" and it was an important break for the Fire Service, which had some difficulty with access to the scene of the fire, said Senior Station Officer Colin Littlewood.