Mt Wilson RFS captain Beth Raines would make a powerful witness at bushfire Royal Commission

If Prime Minister Scott Morrison delivers on a Royal Commission into the bushfires, Beth Raines would make a powerful witness.

She's the captain of the Rural Fire Service in Mt Wilson and Mt Irvine, she works for National Parks in bushfire management, she's spent her life in a bushland community and she recently lost her home.

The second generation Mt Wilson resident lost the house her father built in the 1960s, that she had recently bought back. Her house was surrounded by rainforest that she never thought would burn, but this bushfire season she has witnessed fire behaviour that she has not seen before.

Ms Raines said cutbacks made by the state government to National Parks have cut deep and they had to do "more with less".

"It's unbelievable ... appalling the cost cuts. They give us more parks to manage, but they don't give us any more money or more staff."

They had also done more hazard reduction than ever before and it still wasn't good enough, she said.

A crew of RFS volunteers from Horsley Park tried to save her home on December 15 after she said Fire and Rescue left. She was trying to save homes further along her street from the backburn that had backfired, when she realised her own had caught fire.

"We had weeks to prepare, every trail was graded and dozed. It's the drought and the dryness. I've seen things burn and smoulder that shouldn't... We all have smoker's cough."

It finished an 18-month horror trifecta for Ms Raines - the house destroyed after she lost her mum to cancer, and then her dad to dementia. She is now living in her parents' house and said the generosity of strangers was helping, although a rollercoaster of emotions meant she now felt worse one month on. Hers was one of two homes destroyed at Mt Wilson. Two homes were also lost in the 2013 fires.

"My days get a bit hazy. We had Gospers [fire] brewing away from October 26. Then we got hit three times from different directions in two days," she said of the fire on December 15 that destroyed her home. A decision to do a backburn that day still haunts her, a move sparked by problems with weather.

The original larger backburn was scheduled from Bilpin to Mt Irvine and Bell. A decision was made to start instead at the junction of Mt Wilson and Bells Line of Road after unfavourable weather at Mt Tootie, near Bilpin.

"The turn of events, timing and unfavourable weather conditions ... hence we lost the backburn."

The day the Gazette visited she received an anonymous cheque for $250 via the fire station mail to help in the recovery process. She's still hoping to salvage some intricate woodwork her Dad did inside the home and waiting on a Westpac insurance assessor.

The Mt Wilson RFS said the community had learnt lessons from 2013, with their emergency phone trees/email updates working well, all homes with signs indicating where water and hazards were, and their community hall able to serve 120 firefighters at one dinner because of diesel fuel pods and a new catering unit with mobile coolroom.

Tax deductible contributions to help the villages of Mt Wilson and Mt Irvine rebuild their beautiful garden and bushland areas can go to Mt Wilson/Mt Irvine RFB at BSB 062 559 - Account 10334493. The small village of Bell also suffered terrible damage with five homes lost. Contributions to Bell RFB Public Fund at BSB 032 829 - Account 160 838.