Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bushfire Season

Yesterday at work around 1.30pm I was on the quadbike and noticed some weird shapes clouds above the trees, I went up on the hill and saw that there was a bushfire on the mountain behind the farm.

While I could see it was 'only' small, the awful sick feeling you get in the bottom of your stomach, which is probably the age old imprinted 'fight or flight' response showed up.

We called the Rural Fire Service, they had only just been advised, and trucks were on the way, so they didn't know how big or bad it was.

From the farm the fire was around 3kms as the crow flies, not very far on a windy day, but thankfully there was hardly a whisper of wind.

We got the pumps and firehoses out, and had a firedrill, pumping water from the top dam, after much swearing at the pump it finally kicked over and we felt a bit more at ease that we had water at hand.

As a precaution we placed the irrigation lines around the house & barn, and ran the sprinklers.  Then worked out what documents we'd need from the house & office if worst came to worse, and backed up the important files onto an external drive. We worked out where we'd move with the horses, and where the best evacuation route was for them.

By 5pm the RFS reported they were bringing the fire under control, they had revised the size from 50 hectares down to 30, and the fire was going up the mountain rather than down towards us.

They had 7 trucks and 2 choppers working on it, as the mountain is covered in dense bush, the access isn't good, so the choppers dumping water helped.

By late last night the RFS reported it was under control. Thankfully.

With the temp today to hit 40 again, and between 36 - 40 for the rest of the week, as Steve Liebman says, we'll be alert but not alarmed.

Just have to hope there are no firebugs around, the Valley is an absolute tinderbox at the moment.  But I won't get started on my view of firebugs, that's a tirade for another day.

Stay safe everyone, Australia's a hell of a place, floods, fires, cyclones, all within a few weeks, but you have to love her regardless.

Till next time,

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