The brigade has had a very busy week in the runup to the introduction of permit season. It helped out at DFES and CoB burns and put out an overly enthusiastic private burn.
Crews were on standby Tuesday and Wednesday for a long awaited DBCA burn in the National Park from Yallingup Hall to Biddle Road. Both days the fire was called off at the last minute. Not to be put off, the 4.4 went to Collie Wednesday for a burn with Andy, Bevan, Rob and Pete on board. After over two hours driving through scenic country they worked wth an experienced DFES team on a 4 hectare burn. Under light winds the crew assisted in the ignition and then monitored the burn before finally blacking out.
On the weekend the brigade was on two shifts working most of Saturday until Sunday morning at a major City of Busselton burn in Carbunup, This well run burn involved the Light Tanker with Emma and Noel and the 3.4 with Andy, Alan, Kevin, Rob and Steve during the day. They worked from midday to 16:00 raking and shovelling around “significant” trees, to protect them from the overnight burn.
The area is of environmental interest, and the map they were provided with showed the location of rare orchids and habitat trees. The objective was to rake around the habitat trees identified with a yellow tape, other large trees, and large fallen logs in order to prevent/reduce the risk of the trees from burning. A member of the Dunsborough brigade had a GPS and camera, and checked each of the marked spots. Lunch was available from the Carbanup store.
The weary crew was then replaced by the 4.4 with Craig, Dick, Douglas, Fish and Steveo. After a 4pm briefing they spent the night monitoring hotspots and blacking out. Dinner was served at seven with a late night meal around midnight. There were no complaints about the Italian food and it kept the crew going until 6:30 the next morning. A very long shift.
Sunday, the last day before permit season, saw a significant private burn being called in. Duncan and Emma in the Light Tanker and Andy, Bevan, Pete and Tony in the 3.4 spent two hours making sure the fire didn’t escape and blacking out. Fish was in control with the help of David.
The brigade was called out to assist Wilyabrup in putting out a number of burning grass trees at a property under construction on Moses Rock Road midday Saturday.
The 4.4, with FCO Fish driving and Andy, Kevin and Ross, joined the Wilyabrup and Metricup Light Tankers in containing and then putting out the various fires. The volunteers spent over two hours on the operation..
That evening the FCO was called out to two very large piles of cut bush that were burning unmanned and had been called into DFES by worried neighbours.
The brigade was called out to two fires at midnight Wednesday evening.
The 4.4, with Alan, Andy, Bevan and Steveo met FCO Fish at the larger fire on Sainsbury Loop and extinguished it before moving on to a smaller one nearby. Although they were only grass tree fires, the whole operation took three hours with crew members returning home around 3:30.
October, traditionally the brigade’s busiest month, started on cue with a fire Monday morning.
An escaped ember from a small burning pile of cleared fallen branches started a fire in a large, dead tree. Fortunately a neighbour with a mobile water tank and the owner’s garden hose were able to keep the fire under control until the brigade’s 4.4 arrived.
Andy, Alan, Bevan, Mick and Tony spent about half an hour putting out the fire, high in the tree. Fish was incident controller.
Saturday night (after the footy!) the brigade was called out to a fire but John, Mike, Pete, Todd and Tony were stood down when it turned out to be a burning pile of cleared brush. FCOs Fish and Matt were on the scene for that one.
The Brigade’s 4.4 tanker was in action Thursday assisting Wilyabrup in putting out a burn that threatened escaping into the coastal bush.
Steveo, Emma and Tony joined the Wilyabrup captain and the Busselton 12.2 water tanker in dousing the fire. The 12.2 fed the 4.4 while Emma, on the cannon, and Tony and Steveo on the back hoses extinguished the fire in less than an hour. They were also treated to some spectacular views down the coast.
The brigade welcomed a new addition to its fleet, a 3.4U tanker, this week. It replaces the old 1.4 .
The 3.4U (U for Urban) carries 3,600 litres of water of which 600 are reserved for the deluge safety system. This compares to the 1,000 litres in the old truck, which did not have a deluge system. It seats 6, unlike the old truck’s 5. It has three delivery outputs along with two reel hoses and two monitors with statics.
On the input side it has two collectors along with one direct tank fill collector and one 100mm suction input for drafting. The pump can output at 1,850 litres per minute at 700kPa (or 7 bar for the bike riders.) It can operate in stationary or pump and roll mode with the pump coupled to an independent engine.
The truck has similar safety features as the current 4.4, with an automatic vehicle locator, an external deluge system, radiant heat shields and in cab air units. An additional new welcome feature is a 32 litre fridge, along with two ladders.
“This new truck underscores the confidence the City of Busselton and DFES have in our brigade,” Captain Matt Muir said, on receiving the truck on behalf of the brigade. “The extra 2,000 litres of water along with the space for an extra person will make a significant improvement in our effectiveness,” he said. Matt would like to thank Blake Moore at the City of Busselton for doing the feasibility work to get the Brigade the bigger crew / water capacity appliance. It is a great result for the Brigade and the Yallingup Community.”
The old 1.4 originally was with the Yallingup Siding Brigade prior to the merger with Rural. It was over 20 years old and according the last captain of the Siding Brigade, Mark Standish, it was the first of its kind in the state. For the first six months of its life it was used for demonstration purposes. The 1.4’s last operational role was in late May when it and the 4.4 were in Jarrahwood after the town was evacuated; doing clear up work along the Vasse Hwy so that the road could be reopened.