by John Robertson
On the afternoon of Saturday 2nd October 2009, with high winds, a very high fire danger and dust we were turned out to a grass fire near the corner of Kilmore and Barry. This is in Tamborine RFB’s area but they were flat out at a fire in the pine forest. There was a large and swift turnout of our members and all three vehicles got rolling. Almost at once we got a STOP so that was that. The 12 members who turned out were: John (TM1), Roger (TM2), Paul (TM3), Karen (TM4), Neville, John F, Barry, Julian, Malcolm, Mal P, Keith and Robbo.
At 1855 there was page to yet another ‘re-ignition’ (23 days after the burn) in the Knoll NP. The Auxiliaries were already on the scene which was at the lowest and most northerly part of the burnt area. Peter Mason guided us to the scene. Our 4WD vehicles were needed for access into the forest. This was another vigorous fire based in some heavy, fallen timber which could have spread far in the high risk conditions.
All three trucks responded with the following members; John (TM1), Roger (TM2), Paul (TM3), Barry, Mal P, Malcolm, Peter W and Robbo. Tony organized things on base radio. Early in the piece Paul and Robbo left in 52 to pick up Don and go to relieve local crews at the Pine Forest – more below.
Using multiple layflats to reach the site, crews made a very thorough job of extinguishing the fire. But no one can guarantee that there is not another trunk still smoldering surreptitiously somewhere in the NP.
That was not the end of the story and crews then made their way to the loop beside the entrance to the Skywalk where a tree was burning. This tree had fallen against another tree and it needs to be felled and cut up. This will require specialist attention which is in hand. Crews were back at the Station by 2230 and were thanked by TM1 for another excellent turnout.
Paul, Don and Robbo got to Cedar Creek Hall, which was the briefing point, in good time at 2030. We drove in a conga line with other trucks to the fire location off Plunkett Road. The hard work of backburning had already been done by local crews and our job was to monitor, to ensure no spotovers and finally to black out. The aim was to let logs and other big timber burn away as much as possible and to black them out shortly before we left around midnight. This we did.
I/C was Tony Perkins of Tamborine RFB. He is a mate of Paul’s from Paul’s years with TRFB. (Tony’s day job is Professor and Head of the Department of Medical Sciences at Griffith Uni.) Our work completed he thanked us, guided us out of the forest and saw us safely on our way. We refilled at Holt Road and were back in the Station at 0048 on Sunday.