A FIREFIGHTER injured by a falling tree branch near Tamworth is recovering after being released from hospital.
The accident comes as firefighters finally get the upper hand on the Moonbi bushfire, declaring it under control, and at patrol status.
The RFS said the young volunteer was struck in the head while fighting a blaze between Moonbi and Attunga, late on Wednesday, in difficult-to-reach country.
The falling tree branch hit the 18-year-old, and his fellow volunteers scrambled to help him.
The accident scene, in forest area between Garthowen, north east of Attunga, and the New England Gully Road, near Moonbi, was difficult for paramedics to access.
The Westpac Rescue Helicopter was eventually deployed about 7.30pm, and winched a doctor and paramedic into the accident scene.
The medical team stabilised the patient. He was then winched out and flown to Tamworth hospital in a stable condition.
RFS Superintendent Geoff Hogan said crews "took significant steps to contact NSW Ambulance" personnel, to help the volunteer.
"He was admitted overnight, and my understanding is that he has been released this morning and is doing well," he told the Leader.
"We're very glad and we work very hard to make sure all of our crews go home safe after their shifts.
"The safety of our crews is the top priority."
The bushfire was under control, the RFS confirmed on Thursday.
Crews get upper-hand on Moonbi fire
The nearby Moonbi fire, which threatened homes and properties in the Limbri area last week, has finally been moved to patrol status.
Superintendent Hogan said crews had worked hard to strengthen containment lines, and were confident the fire was contained, after burning through more than 6851 hectares.
One crew continues to patrol the fire's edge, with a very high fire danger predicted on Friday.
"We had a significant number of lightning strikes in that storm late on Tuesday," Superintendent Hogan said.
"We dealt with the majority of those [on Wednesday].
"We have a fire up at Rockview, in the Barraba area, and we actually committed an entire strike team and an aircraft this morning to knock that fire down."
One strike team from out of the area remains in the Tamworth region, helping to fight the bushfires, in what has been a relentless start to the bushfire season. Thee Central West strike team have been here for more than two weeks, fighting the Moonbi fire, with crews being rotated through.
Exhausted crews have been battling blazes from Tenterfield down to Tamworth since August.
"We are very conscious of managing fatigue levels with all of our crews," Superintendent Hogan said.
"The fires have been running for a number of months here, and it's been really, really great work by all of our crews who have continued to work."