On Saturday the 2nd of January at 18.26, I received a phone call from Max, one our fire-fighters, to advise of smoke in the area of Thunderbird park. Parking on the access road to Thunderbird park Max took 2 pictures and SMS’d them to me, the smoke was due east of the park.
I then looked at the Rural Fire Service Incident page on the web for any permitted burns in the area, with no burns in the area I then phoned the 1st Officer from Tamborine, Terry was able to look up the mountain from here he was at Tamborine he advised me that the fire appeared to be just below the Salvation Army facility on Macdonnell Rd Eagle Heights.
I rang Firecom to advise of the fire in progress, asking them to page our fire-fighters to meet me at the station. On my way to the station I spoke to Kent who had arrived at the station, the first objective was to confirm the location of the fire by triangulation. I asked Kent to send 41 to the cnr of Jourdana and Tamborine-Oxenford Rds, 52 was to go to 190 McDonnell rd. After I arrived at the station, I sent 51 to Maipu St and I proceeded to North st in 81.
It was established quickly that the fire was indeed just below the Salvation Army facility, from North St I was the only location that was able to observe the fire to the point of seeing flames.
52 was the first to the Salvation Army facility and tried to locate the fire unsuccessfully, it became obvious that we would have to proceed to Thunderbird park, hopefully to gain access to the fire, at this point we new where the fire was geographically but not how to get to it. At approx 20.45 we had located a track and 41 was the first on scene to start fighting the fire. With Matt and Michael busy fighting the fire I proceeded to survey the fireground and call in 51 and 52 as the track was suitable for them to proceed.
The fire had burnt out a large area by this time and was burning on 3-4 fronts. 51 using the high pressure hose was working on the northern flank working in a west to east direction, 52 was working on the southern flank in a east to west direction, 52 was also supplying water to 41 as by this time had run out of water, I contact Firecom to give them a sitrep and request a medium truck from Tamborine brigade.
As our nearest water source was the dam adjacent to the park headquarters I asked 52 to setup the portable pump there when they went back down the hill to get water, by this time 51 from Tamborine had arrived and was refilling our 51.
Due to the size of the area burnt out and the location of the fire down each side of the ridge-line it took considerable time to make the fire safe, by 02.30 on the Sunday morning I deemed the fire had been put out with only a couple of smouldering stumps, safe enough to be left as rain was expect later in the day.
A huge effort was put in by our fire-fighters especially Michael, Matt & Paris along with John and Iain due to them having to work their way down the side often slipping and falling on the steep terrain, work they way back up the hill to move the hose and then return down the hill to fight the fire.