June Frew was one desperate phone call away from dying in the NSW south coast summer bushfires.
But after returning home from a five-month stint in hospital the 68-year-old - who suffered burns to more than 50 per cent of her body - has another battle to fight.
Ms Frew and her husband, Alex, have joined Manyana community members in a "last stand" to save a 20-hectare block of mature growth forest that survived the fire against incredible odds, but which now faces destruction at the hands of developers.
"Every tree you look at here is charred except for that little block of land," Ms Frew told AAP.
"Losing it would just knock the stuffing out of everyone because they fought so hard and went through so much.
"It would make us think that we can't win anything."
The Frews, who live on a remote property within the Conjola National Park about 15 minutes from Manyana, were attempting to save some wallabies in their wildlife sanctuary on New Year's Eve when they were surrounded by fire.
Twice knocked down by "balls of heat", Ms Frew said she would have died had her 69-year-old husband not kept his feet, wrenched her up, and called for help on the radio as his hands began to melt.
Three NSW Rural Fire Service vehicles, aided by the couple's son-in-law Bill Eger, bulldozed their way through the fire ground to save them.
Paramedics arrived via helicopter at the local sports oval an hour later to treat them. They were flown to separate hospitals with Mr Frew suffering burns to 40 per cent of his body.
Ms Frew, who was in an induced coma for weeks, only returned home from Concord Hospital in May.
But the self-described go-getter has already attended multiple protests and hopes the untouched patch of land is bought back from the developers so it can be preserved.
"It's only a little place, Manyana, but it's got a bloody big heart," Ms Frew said.
Mr Eger says about 200 people rallied this week to save the plot of land which he described as a "Noah's Ark" of biodiversity and a "symbol of hope" for the community.
"People have had enough of zombie developments coming out of the ground and destroying rich habitats - it has to stop," he told AAP.
Work was on Wednesday halted to allow for an independent survey regarding the importance of the land to the greater glider - an endangered marsupial - following a Federal Court application.
Community group Manyana Matters has engaged the Environmental Defenders Office to act on its behalf while Shoalhaven City Council has asked the NSW government to buy the land.
But government sources say the council has rejected a proposal to share the cost of repurchasing the forest and won't change the site's residential zoning.
Approval for the project was granted in 2008.
Australian Associated Press