Tamborine Times Thursday 10th Dec 2015
Spring on the mountain has seen changeable conditions which have favoured some Brigade activities, but not others. Despite forecasts to the contrary, we have had numerous small rainfall events which have permitted the welcome survival of greenery, whilst also contributing to the further growth of possible fire prone weeds. The rain has also meant that apart from a number of large stack burns, our ability to carry out effective hazard reduction burns on the mountain has been limited. We note the recent very high leaf fall – do the trees know something we don’t?
We had a team assisting with a large hazard reduction burn adjacent to the Wyaralong Dam, which was useful training for our members and the chance to compare our operations and equipment with other brigades in the Scenic Rim area.
Locally, we have extinguished a tree fire arson at Knoll Road National Park, assisted the Urban Auxiliaries with water supply to house fires at Laheys Lookout and Holt Road, while helping SES with two rescues and providing traffic management at several motor vehicle accidents and a flood event. These are all part of our brief to assist with the “all hazards” approach now the standard for all Rural Brigades. We have also had a very active role in preparing a command vehicle and mobile station for the use of any brigades in our area in the event of a major bushfire.
Another important role of rural volunteers continues with the growth in numbers of the Volunteer Community Educators, many of whom you will have met at our fundraising events or at other sites such as the Council ‘s ‘Welcome to the Mountain’. Their recent activities include; deployment to Fernvale to do welfare checks on the community which had been affected by a supercell storm with damage to numerous homes and structures, and many education events in the Logan area due to the more than average house fires and resulting in loss of life and injury. Much loss could have been averted had there been working Photo Electric smoke alarms installed in the homes.
One of the perennial problems associated with control of any fire has been dodgy communications. Many reports mention the failure to communicate or mistakes made with communication at wildfires. The Queensland State has recognised this with its adoption of a multi-million dollar 15 year contract with Telstra to provide a modern, secure radio network with interoperability between the fire services, police, SES and surf life-saving, ultimately for most of the state but initially rolled out in our area. This excellent service has practically eliminated our radio black spots and should prove its value many times over.
As you can see from the above, the Scenic Rim Regional Council has accepted the challenge of raising funds to support the many brigades in their area by means of a modest levy on landholders, quite separate from the urban resident levy. This continues to be the mainstay of our operational support, paying for diesel, truck maintenance, some advances to our protective gear and disposable supplies. We have many requirements outside these strictly operational needs, for which we continue our fundraising activities like assisting with parking at the regular markets, supporting the Craft Extravaganza each year and assisting with Open Gardens on the mountain. The generous cheques from these businesses, the recent highly successful U3A concert at the Zamia, the orchestral concert at St Georges church, and your many private contributions, ensure that we can strive to provide the community with a service of which we can all be proud.
May you all have a safe and happy Christmas.
Just two reminders:
Review your fire plan
If it’s flooded – Forget It