The fast response by Rural and the other local brigades and DEC Sunday stopped a fire on Wardanup Hill from escaping into the national park and also destroying houses on private property surrounded by the park.
The SMS went out at 10:49 and by 11:05 tankers were attacking the fire. They quickly set up a defensive line along a fire break and stopped the fire there. By 11:30 they were joined by a helitac which carried out numerous attacks on the eastern flank. The fire was under control by around 1:00 although a wind change caused a further brief flare up.
The 4.4 with Tich driving and Stevo, Annie, Doug, Duncan and Mark F was the first Rural tanker to arrive, quickly followed by the light tanker with Joe and Bruce. The 1.4 was later sent with Andy, David W, Dave T and Tony C. Blaze gave a helping hand to the Dunsborough crew.
David H returned in the evening to monitor and Joe and Bruce returned with the 1.4 Monday morning to mop up.
It was thought the fire might have been started by a cigarette or the previous night’s bbq.
More pictures available here.
Three shifts and the 4.4 attended the Capel fires Thursday and Friday, March 1 & 2. The first shift, with Matty, Stevo, Joe, Noel and Tony S, left around 1pm.
On the way down they were told that the Vasse truck was “lost” and there were four fires burning. Later they learned the truck had got bogged in a collapsed rabbit warren and jammed against a paperbark. The truck had to be evacuated but the crew were ok.
Our crew spent the afternoon initially trying to stop the fire getting into the larger trees and then watching out for hop-overs and patrolling the fire’s perimeters. The highlight was probably knocking over a very large burning stag that turned out to have a large bee’s nest in it that tormented the firefighters for the next 24 hours.
The second crew started around 8pm and consisted of Annie, Ian Morrison, Andy, Blaze and Chris A. They worked steadily all night blacking out in the Southern Sector with a couple of races to hop overs well into the bush. They had a lot of pump practice with 8 fill ups from the muddy dam. They appreciated the crew of 5 as the heavy hose got heavier by 2am. The highlight was Annie being sung happy birthday over the radio.
The last crew of David, Mark P, Pete and Alan worked from 8 am to 3pm blacking out, putting out burning stags and chasing down breakouts. By then the truck was known as “the Yallingup Heavy”.
Most of the water came from a very muddy dam and at times it appeared the brigade had come up with a new firefighting technic of “mudding out” . Unfortunately the pump didn’t enjoy it and was in for repairs on Saturday. Although it was mostly pasture, parts were covered with soft sand, making driving very difficult.