I arrived at the station just in time to jump into TM52 with Greg, and off along the Oxenford Road. What is it about Wongawallan? Here was another fire under the high tension lines; this time up near the Oxenford Road. The Coomera people had it just about under control, with an Urban Appliance protecting the property immediately south of the lines. The breeze had picked up and was giving new life to the fire in many spots in the stubble extending downhill from the house, across the easement and down the hill under the high tension lines.
On arrival, Greg was asked to supply water to the urban truck behind the house. While he was doing this TM51 arrived with Kent, Ben & Josh and disappeared into the smoke, down the hill under the high tension lines. Working in this area is always a worry, with the possibility of the smoke causing a discharge to ground and frying everything and anyone near ground zero.
After refilling TM52 at the tank across the road at Jourdana Drive, we changed over with the Urbans to black out downhill from the house, where we were joined by Alan from Coomera, and briefly by Robbo. Again I saw the now customary seamless cooperation between brigades, urbans and rurals.
What seemed to be very little fuel – just a few centimetres of fine mulch – just kept giving. The fire had burnt out a ‘mosaic’, leaving small patches every few metres that would begin to smoke, and then in the brisk south-easter burst into flame. So, after walking across the ground wetting down every little smoker, you’d turn around and there’d be several more: either new ones, or old ones lighting up again. The fine mulch was effectively what’s called punk or tinder; just the stuff to start a fire with a spark from a flint and steel. Bear Grylls would love it.
And it wasn’t only the smokers that were a problem. Bits and pieces of small timber on the ground had been alight, and the breeze was keeping them alive without any tell-tale smoke, just a little red glow, almost invisible in the sunlight. When I hit the roots of a couple of pine trees, there was that familiar ‘whump!’ as the water penetrated through to smouldering stuff deep under the surface. I prefer to use the ‘Dial-A-Jet’ for this work. The fine jet penetrates through soft stuff right into the seat of the fire, and just a small twist and you’ve got a wide fan to cool down where you’re just about to put your foot.
Unlike the recent Saturday night show, when only a couple of people turned up for a major incident, this Saturday morning saw more of us dressed in yellow than could actually be used. Well done, especially those who turned up and then weren’t needed
After refilling at Hartley Road, we called in Code 5 around 11:40ish. Plenty of time to go shopping…