by Nev Crocombe
At 00:21 Saturday five of us responded to our page, within seven minutes TM41 with a crew of three responded followed about fifteen minutes later by TM51 with a crew of one, leaving yours truly operating Base Radio and intending to despatch subsequent arrivals to follow in private vehicles. (Another four slept through till they joined us, one about 02:30 and the others after normal waking hours.)
Around 01:45, I received a request for extra UHF and VHF radios to facilitate communications with the Auxiliaries. I offered to take out TM13 with both water and radios but this was declined by the Incident Controller but on arrival her husband wanted to know where TM13 was. So I took an Auxiliary back with me in my Land Rover and then accompanied him back to the turn off for Lahey’s Lookout, from where we supplied water to several vehicles.
Soon after 05:00 three returned for more water dropping one member off in Main Street to see what could be obtained from the Bakery for breakfast, while the other two refilled in Kidd Street. About two dozen pies, hot from the oven, some dough nuts and a bun loaf were a most acceptable, if unusual, breakfast for Tamborine Mountain Auxiliaries, Canungra, Tamborine and Tamborine Mountain Rurals.
A couple of our members had morning commitments and retired from the scene as did the Auxiliaries, and visiting Rurals after it was found that wide scale back burning was not really an option with the high moisture content of the litter. Seven Tamborine Mountain Rurals cleared a fire break around the Telecom installations and burnt back from them. We then monitored spot fires till mid afternoon, at one stage having seven or eight lengths of lay-flat out to a flare-up south of the tower.
A phone call to a Support Member brought most welcome hamburgers for a late lunch around 13:45, after which a final damp down with foam of perimeter areas and a couple of logs was carried out.
All vehicles were then refuelled and filled with water. TM13 did excellent service in the role of Mother Duck, having supplied six loads of water.
At 20:00 hour came another page to check on burning logs below the lower traffic lights on the Goat Track. Two members turned out in TM41, met two others standing-by at the Lahey’s Lookout junction, having left our oldest member operating Base Radio. During the trip out, a radio request was made for a crew for TM51 to be called in, but after an inspection Firecom was advised that the logs and small fallen rocks posed no danger and a stop was placed on the call out.
On Sunday morning several members made monitoring checks in their private vehicles and all confirmed the opinion that the logs posed no problem. However, during the afternoon, two took TM41 out and DROWNED the one offending log which had flared up again. Immediately after this, the storm broke.
One fairly large rock about 750x500x400 has come to rest against the guard rail about half-way between the traffic lights. It will require BSC machinery to clear this constriction to the single lane section of the road.