Yallingup Comes Home

Start of the Shift
Start of the Shift

The latest Yallingup Rural crew came home late Sunday night after a long day at the Northcliffe fire. Currently no crews are on call and it is anticipated the 4.4 will return soon for much needed maintenance.

The crew of Duncan, Mark S, Mark P, Mitch and Tony, along with Ian for the 12.2, set off from home around 4am and returned to Dunsborough around 10pm.

Blacking Out
Blacking Out

After the morning briefing, they spent the day in exactly the same area as the Wednesday night crew, attacking flare ups and blacking down. Two helicopters were called in to suppress a spotover in front of the truck. They also spent time draughting and supplying water to the Hithergreen and Sussex trucks which were unable to draft. Credit to the driver, Stando, for his skills in tricky terrain and his swimming skills.

The Monitor in Action
The Monitor in Action

Over the last week there have been six 4.4 crews sent to Northcliffe along with the 12.2 crews. In total it is estimated there have been 23 members of the brigade at the fire with four doing three shifts, including Steveo spending over a week looking after the 12.2.

Along with the Northcliffe action there was a local fire last week with lightning starting a fire in Yungarra Drive.  Adam turned up quickly with the Light Tanker, along with Tony and the Dunsborough Light Tanker. By time they arrived, however,  the neighbors had helped to put it out.

Getting On It Before It Gets Away
Getting On It Before It Gets Away

Along with use by our crew, the 4.4 has been used by Dunsborough  and crews from Victoria,  NSW. As of Sunday it has a cracked windscreen, a wonky electric winder, missing one hand winder, a malfunctioning foam system and one door handle is coming off.

Apart from  the crews getting a break, it is hoped this will also be a good break for our hard working coordinator, Barb, and for all the spouses who have had to drive their partners to Busselton at very unsocial hours.

Drafting
Draughting on Behalf of our Neighbours
Tricky Terrain-Credit:Dunsborough VBFB
Tricky Terrain-Credit:Dunsborough VBFB
Advertisements

Northcliffe Bound

End of the Shift
End of the Shift

Crews are continuing to be sent to Northcliffe although the improved weather Thursday allowed the evening shifts to be dropped for at least the next few days.

Jason returned Friday morning after spending the night driving the 4.4 with a crew from Victoria. FCO David also returned Friday after working three days in IC.

Chris and auxiliary Shahan headed off to Northcliffe on their way to a wedding in Denmark, with Chris driving the 4.4 and Shahn the 12.2. Chris was joined by Andy (again, again, again), Emma and Adam.

View from on Top
View from on Top

Joe Mac will head down Saturday to work on the 12.2 and Annie resumes her role as a DFES Community Liaison Officer for the next few days working out of Pemberton or Northcliffe or Manjimup..

The next crew heads down 4AM Sunday with Mark squared (S&P), Mitch, Duncan and Tony S. All except Mark S are on their second or third shifts.

On the home front Barb made the front page of the local paper. See here. Not surprisingly she didn’t mention her own massive effort-a never ending shift: coordinating crews and part-time driver.  And she’s still waiting for Steveo to return!

Northcliffe: 4.4 Fights on Without Us

The latest Yals Rural crew returned Thursday morning, leaving the truck in the capable hands of a Dunsborough crew.. Thanks go to David for bringing the crews together. Also thanks to Dunsborough’s Mal Ballard for his driving, hose and winder-fixing skills, although we won’t hold him responsbile for the long term life of the winder.

Credit: D. Kirsop, Artist and Volunteer Firey
Credit: D. Kirsop, Artist and Volunteer Firey

So far there have been five crews sent from the brigade and we’re looking forward to the return of the 4.4 which needs some TLC.

Crew Swap Wednesday PM-Fire in Distance
Crew Swap Wednesday PM-Fire in Distance

The crews have mainly been used in blacking out, putting out fires in already burnt areas. Wednesaday night’s crew had to deal with a number of huge Karri trees burning through their core.

Blacking Out   Credit: M Ballard, Expert at Many Things and Volunteer Firey
Blacking Out Credit: M Ballard, Expert at Many Things and Volunteer Firey

The fire has burnt over 80,000 hectares of bushland and has a perimeter of more than 240km. There are over 200 firefighters on the scene at any one time. It is anticipated there will be ongoing regular Yallingup crew shifts going to the fire.

northtrucks
Credit: M. Palmer Statistician and Volunteer Firey

 

The fire now stretches from the edge of Windy Harbour to east of the South West Highway.

Tired and Battered 4.4  Credit: D. Gardener, IT Engineer and Volunteer Firey
Tired and Battered 4.4 Credit: D. Gardener, IT Engineer and Volunteer Firey

 

View from Roberston Rd. Thursday Morning
View from Roberston Rd. Thursday Morning

 

Northcliffe: Round Five

Another crew headed to Northcliffe Wednesday, replacing Mitch, Titch, Richard and Mark P and Bob S. They had gone down early Monday morning and have done two shifts blacking out south of the Northcliffe townsite. The second crew of Douglas, Carlo, Emma, Kev and Andy worked overnight.

The new crew of Bruce, Duncan, Noel and Tony S is joined with a guest appearance of Mal Ballard from Dunsborough behind the wheel. It is anticipated they will be bringing the 4.4 home for repairs Thursday morning.

FCO Dave is also heading down to Northcilffe.

Northcilffe: Rounds Two and Three and Four

northvfrs

The 12.2 with Steveo and Allan headed off to Northcliffe early Monday morning to provide valuable water to the firefighting crews. With town water trucked in, the need for water supplies is urgent.

Meanwhile a crew left Tuesday morning and arrived in Northcliffe in time for breakfast.  They were then positioned south of the town, which has been determined to be undefendable and is being evacuated. Tuesday’s crew consists of Mitch, Titch (called back to the flock) and Rich(ard). Along with Mark P and Bob S.

A third crew leaves by bus at 15:00 Tuesday with Douglas driving the 4.4 on arrival along with Andy (again!) Carlo, Kevin and Emma.

The 4.4 returned Monday morning from Northcliffe after spending Saturday firefighting in Waroona and driving down to Northcillfe Sunday morning. On arrival, after familiarizing themselves with the town they made themselves very popular with Pete cooking lunch and Andy serving the other brigades awaiting a briefing.  The best egg sandwiches in Northcliffe, and probably Waroona, as well!

north1They spent the afternoon talking to owners and checking out properties in the path of the fire to determine whether they could be protected. The evening was spent setting up lay-flats around a house that was determined to be defendable. Fortunately the wind didn’t change and the fire passed a few kilometres away. From their vantage point the crew could witness its massive size, stretching all along the skyline. Although kilometres away the roar of the fire was significant and flames shot over 50 meters into the air. Pictures give no indication of the size and intensity of the fire. None of the crew had seen anything like it.

4.4 Moves on to Northcliffe

The brigade’s 4.4 headed south to Northcliffe Sunday morning continuing its tour of the southwest.

Saturday the crew worked from just after midday until midnight blacking out down very steep rocky slopes and providing asset protection.

After a short night in Bunbury they headed south to assist with the Northcliffe/Manjimup fire.

Two of the crew, Andy and Bruce were with the team earlier in the week that went to Wanneroo for two days.