Tuesday, January 13, 2009


The fire has now burnt approximately 1200 ha of forest in the Moreton National Park, around eight kilometres east in Wingello.

Firefighters have been using infrared equipment to identify pockets of fire, which are then attacked by ground crews and waterbombing aircraft.
Crews have also been blacking out along the perimeter of the fire, to help strengthen containment lines in case conditions deteriorate.
While no property is under threat, residents in surrounding areas should ensure their homes are fully prepared, in the event that severe weather causes the fire to break containment lines.
12.01.09 20:51

That is last night's bulletin on the fire which has preoccupied us for the last nine days.

The fire was started in the National Park, in very inaccessible terrain, late on Sunday the 3rd, by an evening thunderstorm that brought black clouds, ten drops of rain, and sparked the tinder. 48 hours later it was scheduled Section 44, whereby the Commissioner of the Rural Fire Service takes charge and the full resources of the State kick in.

Since then, and perhaps aided by it being the only current serious NSW fire, the response has been relentless. The day skies are full of aircraft, fixed wing, large and smaller helicopters, both surveillance and water carriers.

(photos Rural Fire Service)

There would be perhaps one every 10 to 15 minutes, and that is just over here; they are striking at this from several water sources. A trip to town means seeing one or two control vehicles on the roads, the local newsagent has an update in the window, with maps and photos, the Rural Fire Service website is updated, clearly and succinctly, at least twice a day. During the worst of it, those four days last week when it was scorching and things looked pretty grim, there were bulletins dropped at each front gate each evening.

We are a few kilometres north of this fire which has steadily burnt east, not unexpectedly as it is the westerlies which are the real nasties, coming off the hot inland and bringing higher temperatures and lower humidity. Incongruously, the last few days have been cool and we even had a thunder storm two nights ago with a sudden drop of 16 mm rain. This, I gather, was not widespread and was patchy over the fire.

Today things sound better, and it is the sound that's the clue. The skies have throbbed till dusk for the last week. This morning there were a few helicopters flying over, and I only saw one water-bomber.

(yesterday evening overhead RFS helicopter)

It has been quiet for the last few hours.

I've been through all this before, but now it looks like I will make it to Butterfly after all. If you need to know when there'll be a fire around here, just check my diary under Opera / Sydney.

No comments: