by John Robertson
On our training evening on Wednesday, 21st October we went to the Polish Place and simulated an attack on a fire coming up the slope. 52 was in the lead with 51 being called to help. Chris was kind enough to say that the radio reports from 52 were so realistic that it seemed to those in 51 that they were going to a real fire.
Roll on four hours to about midnight and we had a real fire in a similar location but a little further up the road at Witches Falls NP (Queensland’s oldest NP). Both urban trucks were on scene and we were paged to assist them. 52 was there first with Paul (TM3) and David. Robbo who had come by car joined them. John (TM1) and Karen (TM4) came in 51. The fire was about 50 metres down the slope and had evidently been lit off the zigzag path that leads down the face of the park. A witch perhaps? Fortunately conditions were good from the firefighters’ point of view with high humidity, a low temperature and a light wind. But the vegetation is very dense, prickly and trippy and the terrain very steep.
David took a backpack and effectively attacked spot fires. Both 52 and 51 deployed three layflats down the slope with (intermittent) foam. The urban trucks kept the water in both TM trucks topped up. We used about 5,000 litres in total. Conditions for those on the branches – John and Paul especially – were tricky. Despite this the fire was well and truly out shortly after 0200 and we then made up. TM1 thanked all present and our trucks went to refill at Holt Road and thence to the Station by 0240.”