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.