by John Robertson
Election evening brought fire to the Mountain and a copy book example of fighting a bush fire.
The fire had started a few metres off the track around the green waste depot on Knoll Road. It did not look like natural ignition. It was expanding westwards due to the wind and dry conditions. Our Brigade was paged at 17.02.
First off was our new TM52 with Rory as crew leader, Darryl and Kim. They were on the scene 12 minutes after the page was sent. TM51 followed 3 minutes later with TM1 (First Officer John H) and Robbo. TM41 was close behind with TM3 (Ken) and David. Tony and John F maintained radio communications.
The fire-front was menacing with flames several metres high marching into the forest. TM52 used three separate hoses to attack the fire ‘from the black’; i.e. by running hoses over the already burnt area and knocking down the fire from behind. 51 and 41 backed up 52. It all worked like a charm and soon the flames were no more. 51 and 41 thoroughly extinguished burning logs on the ground while 52 refilled with water.
Quick response was crucial. Delay would have seen a far larger and more dangerous blaze. Thanks to the person who reported the fire promptly as well as to our crews.
Working ‘from the black’ is a very effective way of fighting a bush fire. Having the wind at your back blowing the smoke and heat away is so much better than the reverse. Come wind changes or such, the already burnt area is one place that won’t burn and so is a safe refuge, if ever needed, for crews and vehicles.
Back at the Station by 18.18 we were met by TM2 (Paul). All vehicles were made ready to go again with full tanks and stand down was at 18.40.
We get very strong support from the Mountain community and we owe you a first class service. It is a great pleasure to deliver.