Yallingup Rural joined 47 other brigades in helping to fight the fires around Perth this week. The crew consisted of Alan, Andy, Bruce, Mitch and Steveo. Alan reports:
The Lower South West Taskforce convoy included the 4.4, our 12.2 crewed by Vasse, Dunsborough 3.4, Sussex 2.4, Walcliffe LT, and Vasse LT. We met at Busselton bypass, and departed around 1400 Wednesday for the Pinjar pine plantation fire in Wanneroo.
En route we were diverted to the Serpentine fire near Karnet prison farm, but were then re-assigned to our original destination after stopping for further direction at Keysbrook, north of Pinjarra.
We arrived in the early evening at Barbagello raceway for a briefing, and then were assigned mopping up duties through the night in company with the rest of the LSW Taskforce vehicles.
The tracks were very sandy, in limestone country, and the 4.4 managed the conditions quite well, except for one moment right at the end of our shift when a considerable amount of digging, road making and some water dumping, plus a bit of a pull on a tow strap from a friendly passing Kalamunda LT got the 4.4 moving again.
During the night there was a good view of the electrical storms around Perth, and just a few teasing spots of rain. By about 0400 we were all tucked up in bed at the Vines resort.
On the way back home on Thursday the 4.4 crew saw what appeared to be a new fire east of the Forest Highway, and after checking in, headed over to investigate. The Coolup brigade were already on site, and the 4.4 assisted them in the early stages of the fire, then carried on for home by the time that the water bombers were on site.
We were happy to assist the Perth Brigades which have been under pressure for weeks, with a lot of tired volunteers needing relief, although on the way home down the Forest Highway we came as close to a lightning strike as any us wanted.
Note: GWN News is carry a report on the LSW Convoy Friday night.
The 4.4, along with the 12.2, headed north Wednesday afternoon to help in fighting a range of fires from Bunbury to north of Perth. The crew consisted of Andy, Alan, Bruce and Mitch with Stevo driving. The 12.2 was driven by a member of the Vasse brigade.
The trucks were part of a fleet from the south west, including Dunsborough and Augusta. Currently there are fires in Wanneroo, Kwinana and Jarrahdale and Glen Iris area of Bunbury.
The sixth fire in Gunyulgup Valley in 11 months claimed a house Monday.
The fire was reported just before 5pm with heavy smoke blowing up the valley. By the time the first fire trucks arrived the Cairn Hill holiday rental property was ablaze and burning embers were in the adjacent paddocks. Yallingup Rural trucks, along with a Metricup truck and other brigades’ light tankers and neighbors took care of the embers and grass fires while the Dunsborough
and Yallingup Coastal urban trucks attacked the house fire. Fortunately, although it was extremely hot, there was little wind and the paddock fires were quickly brought under control. One fire in heavy bush required a bulldozer to make a path for a light tanker to extinguish burning scrub.
Despite a lot of hot and hard work the house was destroyed by the fire and by 9:30pm the fire was effectively out.
There were reportedly 18 appliances at the fire with 72 volunteer firefighters. An ambulance was called to assist one of the firefighters dealing with the house.
According to news reports, the owner of the property, who was there with his family at the time, said the blaze was started by a power pole catching alight at the bottom of the valley, below the property. Within less than 10 minutes the property was alight, he said.
Pictures of the Brigade Helping Urban Firefighters Cool Down the Fire
All three brigade trucks were in action Monday, December 23 fighting a grass fire off Puzey Road.
The fire was in a vineyard and the narrow rows made the job more difficult, requiring the use of the front spray bar and static hoses from the work platform.
The brigade was assisted by a Light Tanker from Willyabrub and two fire fighting trailers provided by local contractors/farmers. Despite the 25 kph winds, the fire was prevented from reaching the adjoining bushland. The brigade spent about two hours at the fire scene.
A slashing machine in operation in the vineyard was burnt.
With the busy holiday season approaching the brigade is going to a roster system over Christmas and New Year’s to ensure adequate resources to protect the community.