Guys, thanks for your thoughts and comments. I’d like to think it was planning, but luck, and the CFA I suspect has more to do with it.
Mum and Dad are about 15K out from Camperdown, the fire down there cut the Princess Highway and we had to divert just to get to the Olds. Arrived around 930PM, in the dark. The back sky mind you was illuminated.
I got the call from Mum and Dad yesterday, saying as you might expect that all should be good, don’t worry, stay where you are. YEAH RIGHT I thought, LIKE FUCK I WILL.
The boss organised for the boys to be looked after as Jordan had cricket toady ( which they won and he made 50 as well). And I started packing the gear. Now, I’m no fan of rushing in to fight grass or scrub fires, fact is I have been there and done that. Its at times one scary motherfucker of an event and you sure as shit do not take it lightly. But with some prep and some gear, knowledge and a PLAN, you give yourself very god odds.
The big question is wether or not you fight or flee, then go from there. But I will get to all that and some other issues very shortly. Short version is, that apart from going to bed VERY LATE or early hours this morning, the wind change and weather shift saved everybody’s arses. THANK FUCK, that and the CFA fellas as per usual brilliant efforts.
The defence of the old property would be a straight forward exercise with one exception or should I say weakness, I will elaborate on this shortly. The ground are well kept, short laws and short grass, clear fields in all directions with very minimal undergrowth , except where the local shire has not slashed the road side edges and the fuel load there is high and a serious cause for concern. The property has 40K litres of water on hand, a pump and hoses, gutters for blocking and good areas for retreat to in necessary, but at the REAR about 40m from the shed is a stand of Cyprus Pines which are very prevalent in those parts. This stand is easily 100 meters long and they are full grown 80 odd year old monsters.
WHICH, once alight would all go up like fucking fire crackers. This was my main concern and dads as well, the embers that would generate from these and flames and heat in such close proximity would dwarf anything that would have been generated by grass fire. Without a serious tanker or aircraft, those trees were going to represent a problem. I suspect that in a short time they may well be THINNED OUT. I hope so anyways.
It dawned on me when I got home and watched the TV just how fucking stupid people can be. For fuck sake, you do not fight a fire in shorts, T shirts, Polyester fluro shirts or thongs, I seen one goose on a roof with a stubby in his hand. NFI.
I’m not geared up to the nines, but I do take certain precautions if I decide I am going to make a stand or assist somebody. Here below are some photos, I have left 4 dry powder extinguishers at the olds and a water unit as well because the are handily portable. But a summary of the photos is as follows.
2 x Breathings Masks, 4 Water Fire extinguishers, Fire blanket, Goggles, Welding Gloves, Bolt Cutters, first Aid kit, rope, tie downs, more Rope, Work Lamps, Chargers, Hat, and drinking water.
Then there is the Long sleeve H Duty Fluro Cotton shirts and pants and Boots, woollen socks, woollen jumper and a pair of Overalls if required.
AND that’s about the minimum I would have, plus a UHF in the 4WD. The property MUST, I say MUST have had fire fuel reduction work taken place BEFORE the fire starts approaching. If its not done, then just get the hell out of dodge, your life is not worth it. Even when prepared, you must have an exit plan and do a series of what if’s.
My heart goes out to those that have lost friend and loved ones, property and those people who are still fighting the fires.