Bushfires are both awesome and frightening all wrapped in one.
I worked in the Grampians for 4 years as a firey with (then ) DNRE, including as 2IC on a HoverExit crew (we climbed out of hovering helicopters into remote access areas to clear helipads for more crews to land or for early intervention fire attack). We were a statewide resource and travelled far and wide to fight fires.
I then moved north and joined QFES, based in Brisbane. Been a firey here for 17 years.
A few years ago I went onto day work and was trained as a Fire Behavious Analyst. This involved using all available data to do Predicitive Modelling on wildfires. I was deployed to NW Tassie in 2016 in this role.
I am now in a role that deals with bushfire mitigation for the north side of Brisbane (also fill a training role for Auxiliary firefighters)
I have had the opportunity to see all sorts of things and have a fair amount of experience but I will never pretend to know what a fire will do. In my experience, bushfires are much more dangerous than structure fires.
Bushfires are both awesome and frightening all wrapped in one.
Generous company, I applaud that.
I’ve a standing offer of unlimited leave without pay from my company. Never taken them up on the offer, I just use my annual leave.
Hardest hit are the sole traders. If you work for yourself, your business income stops when you volunteer.
Same for farmers, there comes a point where they need to work the farm. In drought years farming communities struggle to provide manpower as they are already under stress. Urban volunteers become very important as they can take the load off these small communities.
Mrs Fox and I have lived in Kinglake and then moved to Greendale, another bushfire area. We know the stress and drama of fires, and we applaud anyone who fights them.
There would be no employer in our Town who would not pay CFA boys and girls on duty.
How quickly we forget @pazza’s feat.
100% agree with structure vs bushfire danger. A bushfire can turn from sedate to terrifying in seconds.
One of my neighboring brigades got caught in a burn over in a pumper parked in a residential street. Everywhere else was sedate and mild. They were parked in a driveway in a suburban court. The street got surrounded by flame, hit by a local wind event and nearly took out the truck. Crew on the hose had to hide behind a fence holding their hose above their heads. No other truck experienced any intense fire behaviour.
Structure fires generally stay in the box they started in. They’re dangerous, but generally predictable. I’ve a huge amount of respect for experienced leaders of bushfires.
And how quickly you forget that he wasn’t acting alone.
What would you know about feet?
That is very cruel. You should put yourself in my boot and see what it’s like to cop all these comments. And don’t ask me how I’d react if the shoe was on the other foot. Because you damn well know that can’t happen.
10 years on since the Black Saturday fires.
One of those events where I can remember just about everything of the day. What I was doing, conversations I had etc.
I also remember much of the proceeding events
- Being turned away with a trailer full of things (beds, mattresses etc) from a makeshift donation centre in Yarra Glen because they’d received so much (I parked down the road, walked back up to the only atm and got out $100 to donate).
- My first footy game at Yarra Glen (attending as I was still on crutches after surgery) someone going around asking for donations; when I asked what it was for I was told one of the player’s house had burned down in the fires
- Playing in Kinglake around May/June and driving through the fog at 10am, through what used to be the town and seeing tape around what was left letterboxes etc. I found out the tape signifies a fatality. In some instances there was tape around street signs; everyone on the street was gone.
- In the only time I’ve ever felt bad about winning something (and likely to stay they way as I’m a miserable and competitive prick) we knocked off the Kinglake 2s in the prelim by less than a kick
- We got smashed in the granny the next week at Woori Yallock by Olinda but most of the guys forgot about it when Kevin Rudd and Jim Stynes started mingling with us and we got a big group shot with them
- Kinglake’s firsts made the granny and during the pre-game ceremony 173 balloons (green or yellow) were released to signify the lives lost in the fires in addition to a single red and white balloon to mark the loss of an Olinda resident in a house fire throughout the year.
I live in a suburb south of Perth and we have been ordered from our house due to a bushfire. But at least the family is safe - we’ll be sleeping on the floor of my brother-in-laws tonight. Our place is 6 blocks away from any scrub so the house should be fine at least. Strong and gusty winds still though.
Hope you and yours stay safe, mate!
About a week after, a mate put out the call for help in cleaning up his parents’ farm in Jindivick (backs onto the NP). They were kind of lucky, they escaped (were planning to stay), their house and most of their sheds were saved, but they lost their hayshed and a bit of livestock - and Elvis the chopper stole their dam (to save the house).
The aftermath was the most frightening scene I’ve ever witnessed. Fence posts reduced to a small green circle where they stood. Fencing wire brittled by the heat to the point it’d almost snap in your hands. The gully & creek was about 2 foot deep in white, fine, powdery ash.
The fire had come over the hill from the NP, burnt all the paddocks on that side of their property and been stopped literally at the wall of their main shed.
We live in a very, very scary country.
The Chilli Festival was scheduled to be on at Jindivick that weekend. I think it was usually held on a deer farm.
Not sure if it’s ever been back. I think most of them are held at Wandin these days.
Yeah my work’s HQ is in Canning Vale, which is close to that danger zone. Some of my colleagues have had to flee their properties…
Thanks guys; evacuation order was lifted about 4:30 this morning and the house and pets are all fine. My family are back home now. It’s still a watch-and-act warning but there are 200 firefighters there with air-support and its looking much better. The kids are happy that school’s shut for the day.
Anyone down in Gippsland? Looks pretty bad down there
Dry lighting caused all of them. The photo I saw yesterday of the smoke going through the inversion layer was amazing (taken from a QANTAS plane approaching Melbourne Airport)
My brother and my parents have been alternating between Emergency Warning and Watch and Act for the last couple of days. All seems ok now though thank goodness.
Bit the same down in country Vic. First the report said “leave” - now its “watch and act”
People would’ve left when they didn’t need to. Now its more commonsense.
I was just concerned the VB cans I have in the fridge would be lost. Solved that problem though.