On the afternoon of Monday 30th December 2019, a fire was reported near Sainsbury Loop, Injidup. Quick and effective action by local residents who were first on the scene was a major contributor to the containment of the outbreak. Support arrived from local fire brigades in the form of around 50 volunteers and more than 14 fire trucks. This was further supplemented by helicopter and fixed-wing water bombers.
The fire was contained and controlled on the same day. The cause of the fire is considered suspicious.
A private burn carried out over the weekend came back to life Thursday with Dunsborough and Rural brigades called out to extinguish it.
The fire, although out on the surface, had continued to smoulder underground until midday Thursday when it erupted. The 4.4 with Allan, Andy, Rob and Steveo and the Light Tanker with Emma and Tony turned up. It was decided by FCO Fish that due to the possibility of the fire reigniting again, it was best to burn the whole block. So the crews spent time clearing around trees, stumps and fallen logs. The unburnt areas were ignited and over the next two hours the fire was monitored, trees were protected and it was eventually blacked out. A variable wind picked up from time to time, keeping everyone on alert. The whole operation took three hours.
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.