FIRE UPDATE: All is good.

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.

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22 thoughts on “FIRE UPDATE: All is good.

  1. Glad things panned out ok. How close did the fires get?

    Also, now that you’ve shown us your fire fighting kit, can we see the zombie fighting gear?

  2. I’m glad everything is under control and your family is OK. How scary! It’s all over the news here in the States.

  3. Top work chief, not that I’d expect any less.
    That old proper prior preparation thing.
    Suprised you haven’t rigged a petrol powered pump (about the 2 hp size) & a 500l tank, but I’m sure you have your reasons.

    Chateau Nowhere Ver 1.1 backs on to the National Park & they just don’t have the resources to do proper fuel reduction burns. So our lovely little Pole home up among the tree canopy is just waiting to go up like a roman candle.

    I clear all the fuel I can, keep the gutters clear (a new alloy mesh product Double + good) I have rigged 2 HD sprinklers on the ridge cap & plumbed them with copper pipe (not plastic.) I may have even been known to sneak over the fence with a brushcutter & do a little guerilla topiary inside the park (Prove it was me Mr National Parks Ranger.)

    My plan was always to load & fambly & irreplacables (like wedding album & baby photos etc) turn the sprinklers on & get the hell out of dodge. There is no way I could ever fight a fire coming up the gully or down the hill from the national park. Leave it to the professionals & have the insurers # on speed dial.

    A damned tragedy that we’ve lost some folk to it.
    All my blessings & best wishes to the bereaved.

  4. Good work H, nothing like planning. My olds have done all the fuel reduction, have a fire fighting pump on the house tank and another on a trailer with a 500lt water tank.

    Glad to hear that all is well with your lot.

  5. I am glad to hear that you and yours are well. What a terrible weekend. 65+ dead in Vic. 5 just killed in a head on up here. 2 dead in the Ingham floods and a 5 yo taken by a croc up North. Terrible stuff

  6. Abe: About 10K from the House as the cor flies…..

    Jen: I am not surprised, its made a hell of a mess of th state and wrecked a lot of lives.

    BBA, Flint, U, Moko, Bangar, Thanks Guys.

    NBOB, yeah, gullies are NOT MY FAV . When terrain favours the fire…FUCK RIGHT OFF!.

    Naut: The old boys has the Honda pmup as well and the Elect is plummed in so to speak. But I did take the Gen set just in case. elect pumps arn’t much fucking use without power I reckon.

    Lerm, Is going into history and we aint over yet. Crock as well Fuck.

  7. Hav, good to hear you got out of this one OK. Can attest to the scary-as-fuck nature of these bastards – Xmas day ’01, up a tree next to our place in northern NSW, hosing down flying embers like some sort of demented AA gunner as they blew over the road from the firefront in the scrub over the road, watching the paperbarks go up like Roman candles as they were engulfed one by one. Bit of an attention grabber as I was standing in one at the time. Wind change saved our arses that day too. Glad to hear yours was, very sad to hear many weren’t.

  8. Really good to hear your family is safe. Think everyone has been thinking about you and yours since the last post. At last some really good news out of all the sad news.

  9. Doc, ggod too see ya, thanks, yeah KINDA WITH YA THERE. ITS NOT FUCKING GOOD, Glad we didn’t have too this time around.

    DD, yes, thank you. But we got it easy as you say. Its very bloody ugly.

  10. H glad to see you’re pok. Tried to call you this evening but you were probably in bed by then.

    My thoughts go out to all in country Victoria and NSW. The CFA are real heroes.

    Chaz

  11. Good to hear-and yes, the fires made the news here.

    We usually get fires like that here in Southern California, and it’s the same deal-keep your yard area clear of a lot of underbrush, know what you’re doing should you decide to hang around, and be ready to bug out should it be necessary. The state of California pretty much handles firefighting like a military operation-and occasionally DO call out the CA-NG to help with big fires.

    Curious-are there no water bombers there? Canada uses amphibious planes that scoop water from, say, the ocean, and dump it on the fire. Might be worth the State’s money to have a couple around-and they could be used for air-sea rescue when it isn’t the fire season.

  12. Chaz, IT WAS YOU!, Good thing I was not OTHERWISE ENGAGED..lol. Sorry mate. When I grabbed the phone it shut off ( battery moved). I had no record of who rang. Fixed it now, loose screws in chassis. Otherwise I am a 11.00pm man, no worries at all.

    YD, we have three Elvis sky cranes here at present and numerous water bomber choppers, NO AMPHIB water bomber planes though, it may well be on somebodies cards if we continue with weather patterns as we have recently had. MAJOR fires will become the norm.

  13. You’re dead right about dressing for the conditions Havock. I’ve been watching TV and have lost count of the number of drongos I’ve seen poking round the ashes of their home and wearing nothing but thongs and beach wear. In these fires its the radiant heat that kills you

  14. That’s great that your mob is fine. I salute your preparations. I too can’t believe that people wander around bushfire zones dressed as if they’re at the beach. Fire blankets are a must. Wool ones serve the same purpose. Hope its mostly over.

  15. H strangely enough THAT didn’t cross my mind, thought you’d be over that sort of thing considering how long you and the cook have been married!!!!!

  16. What’s currently fucking me off is hearing naive bloody NZers over here – supposedly intelligent people – coming out with stuff like ‘Why couldn’t they just, like, get out sooner?’ Yeah, right. Firefront four storeys high and backed by a 120kph westerly tends to cover ground pretty quickly. I seriously wanted to punch some people today. And this is in a country where there are regular ads on TV about being ready for earthquakes and volcanic lahars, which they get maybe once every fifty years. You’d think they’d have a clue about natural disasters.

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