With 2019 now history, the Courier-Sun has been looking back at the top stories from the year that was.
We've finally reached December, where the big one was the RFS reality check that many had feared ... on December 6 the community heard the Andersons Creek fire had spotted across the Bellinger River placing the entire valley on alert.
More than 100 residents crowded into the Thora Fire Shed to hear the latest from RFS and NPWS staff.
NPWS Planning Officer Simon Hemer said crews had been trying to contain this fire since it began on November 26 following a lightning strike.
"For a while there it was pulling up and we had it pinned between Andersons and Woods Creek," Mr Hemer said.
"But these conditions are not normal - this is the driest we've ever seen it (160 out of 200) and those wet gullies that used to help us are themselves dry."
He said the spotting meant the fire was approaching the Horseshoe area "and once it is in there it is a disaster ... with the east/west ridges and steep terrain it could run all the way to the coast."