24 hrs notice seems to be the norm for deployments, but this call just before Christmas, elicited fewer offers than usual. Roger left early on 21 December in TM51, picked up two more at Greenbank and rendezvoused at Plainland with 51 units from Hattonvale, Wasp Creek and Lower Beechmont plus Clagriba 41. After a quick sort out of crews by strike team leader Simon Dawson we trundled up the range to Toowoomba, where we received more instruction from SW division, and rolled on down to Millmerran, about 2 hours to the SW. A Brisbane strike team was sent to a northerly boundary of the fire.
The mission was to contain a fire which had been burning through sparse state forest for two weeks, and relieve the few exhausted local fire fighters, but our arrival was announced with a significant thunderstorm dumping 50mm of rain on the fire. We were left with the relatively simple job of blacking out from the recently bulldozed sandy firelines, a job completed that afternoon and the following day. The rainfall provided interesting slippery conditions over hard sand; TM51 had a ball.
Accommodation was split between a motel and cabins at the camping ground, the pub was a welcome intermediary, and the company hilarious, so it was certainly one of the easiest deployments.
Posted in Incident Reports