Brigade members were called upon to put their new training skills to good use Wednesday when they took on the Kaloorup fire and excelled.
Andy, Bevan and Noel, in the 4.4, were confronted by the fire before they got to the command centre. There was a strong, up to 40k, northerly wind pushing the fire through a combination of bush and paddock. Noel knocked the fire back with the truck’s monitor, They then went on, joining about 10 trucks from other brigades, in protecting a threatened property and in bringing the fire under control. Chris joined the crew after finishing his responsibilities in the incident control unit and they worked on mopping up and knocking down burning stags the rest of the day.
Mike blacking out
Duncan and Mike in the Light Tanker arrived a few minutes after the 4.4 and were instructed to patrol Jindong-Treeton Road, which was in heavy smoke. They worked on knocking down the fire in the trees to stop it jumping the road and then mopping up. During the course of the day the light tanker refilled seven times.
The crews worked over 5 hours on the fire. According to DFES the fire was reported at 11 AM on Wednesday with the cause of the fire being an escaped private burn. Over 8 hectares were burnt.
Two new members of the brigade got to practice their new fire fighting skills Friday. Ross Miller and Murray Penter joined old hands Andy and Steveo in relieving the Dunsborough 4.4 crew at a fire near Donnybrook.
They left by bus at 6am and spent the day blacking out and assisting in putting out hot spots in the tree tops. In doing so, they managed to save a number of old trees from being felled. They were working around Hetherington Road, between Boyanup and Donnybrook.
The fire was first reported Thursday and a number of farm buildings have been destroyed, although no homes are reported burnt.
The crew returned with the Dunsborough 4.4 at 7:30pm.
Drafting at Gunyulgup
The brigade was kept busy this week for all the good reasons. Monday and Tuesday evenings were dedicated to training and Friday night was the Christmas bash.
Monday involved training on the new burnover protection tools. These involved the new in-cab breathing devices-allowing 30 minutes of air in case of a burnover, the new truck sprinkler systems that give at least five minutes of protection to the trucks and the new vehicle tracking devices, that allow users to monitor truck locations. (Video available here)
Joint Brigade Debrief
Tuesday the auxiliaries took over, working with both the Rural and Coastal brigades, filling up trucks from Gunyulgup dam. Efficiently filling six trucks constantly for 90 minutes, they showed what could be done if the power goes out in the region. It was also a good opportunity for the two brigades to work (and play) together.
Speaking of play, Friday night was the annual Christmas party, again well managed by Mitch at Egis’ restaurant, The Barnyard. FCO Fish thanked the volunteers and their partners for their contribution during the year and Mitch thanked Captain Matty, in absentia, for his dedication during the year. A good time was had.
Two Rural crews were sent to the Gregory and Ellis State Forest fires in the Shire of Nannup Sunday. The fire had been reported the previous afternoon and was the result of a prescribed burn carried out a month earlier, according to Parks and Wildlife, which was managing the fire.
After five hours of blacking out
The first crew, consisting of Andy, Emma, Leisha and Mark P along with driver Kim Standish from Coastal left at 11 and after a briefing at the control unit on Brockman Highway spent the day blacking out in rough, hilly, burnt out forest in hot conditions. After a lunch break they continued on until 6 when they were relieved by the second crew, consisting of Bevan, Carlo (welcome back), Mike and Noel.
That crew had left the Dunsborough fire shed at 4:30pm with crews from Duns and Vasse.
They eventually started mopping up at 9pm, working alongside a crew from Cowaramup. Along with mopping up they used their drafting skills to fill two other trucks. They finished mopping up at midnight, departed Incident Control around 12:30am and finally left a clean (note to Steveo) 4.4 in the shed at 2:20am.
There will be a comprehensive bushfire preparedness information session Saturday morning at 9:30, Junee Place, off Glover Road, in Yallingup Siding.
Officials from DFES, the City of Busselton and brigade members will be attending. It will provide up to date information on bushfire preparedness for both property and people. Be there to find out how to make your property safer.
Less than two hours after training, Tuesday evening, the Brigade was called on to use its new and rediscovered skills in putting out a private burn-off that threatened property and adjacent land.
All three trucks were called out immediately with Duncan and Emma on the Light Tanker, Andy, Steveo and Kevin on the 1.4 and Douglas, Bevan and David B on the 2.4. Mike, Pete and Tony also turned up, joining FCOs Fish and Chris. Fortunately there was little wind, but the fire had got up, into the trees, making the process more complicated. By midnight, three hours later, the fire was out.
There were a number of fires throughout the district Tuesday, which coincided with the last day of burning without a permit and the Melbourne Cup.