On the evening of Wednesday 4th April our training was a burn at a property just off Beacon Road as shown on the attached map;16 members took part:
Roger TM1, John TM 2, Donna, Miguel, Maria, Keith, Cam, Jaap, Barry, Nathan, Malcolm I, Greg, Kent, Don, Greg and Robbo.
All three fire trucks with full crews were used and TM81 also carried members. Roger was Incident Controller. Conditions were ideal with no rain for a week but humidity near to 90% and a light breeze from the East. This meant there was just the right amount of wind to assist the burn but the humidity was such that sparks or embers were quickly extinguished in the humid air.
The map shows our entry point from Beacon Road and three (A, C & D) of the four timber heaps (each about 10 metres in diameter) are visible on the June 2011 satellite image showing that the wood had been there for a considerable time and was well cured. The exception is heap B which is much more recent and consists of heavy green wood and roots plus lots of soil – very hard to burn. Two further wood piles lie over the fence and very close to the avocado plantation – approximately under the letters B and C. Pile A had a special problem in that a mass of greenery had grown up through it. It looked as though it would be very difficult to burn.
In the event, pile A was burned very thoroughly (thanks especially to good work by Barry, Maria and Cam) as were piles C and D. Examination the following day showed that A, C & D been reduced to a flat bed of ash a few centimetres deep. VG!
Pile B was substantially unburned. The heavy timber was too green and there was too much soil to allow a successful burn. We did not attempt to burn the two piles across the fence. Thus there remains a substantial task for another occasion.
By 21:45 the fires had burnt down well and were safe so they were turned over to the owner. The trucks were refilled at Holt Road and the evening was complete by about 22:15. An excellent training exercise with real red stuff