Saturday was a busy day for Yallingup Rural with trucks heading off in different directions. Bruce and Emma went south with the Light Tanker to assist at the Forest Grove fire. The fire had started midday Friday and had moved into a pine plantation. They spent the day helping to contain and blacking out the fire.
Meanwhile the 4.4 went north to join a Rural Urban Interface (RUI) training exercise in Eagle Bay. Andy, John and Noel joined other area brigades in a simulation dealing with the impact of fire in a residential area. Captain Matt was working in the Incident Control Unit, helping to coordinate the response.
Earlier in the week the brigade joined its Coastal neighbour in looking at water resources at Smiths Beach and listening to a start of season briefing by the local Community Emergency Services Manager, Blake Moore. And on Monday (today) it was called out to structural fire at Smiths Beach but was stood down before leaving the shed.
The season got off to an early start Wednesday with a fire near Hayes Road.
The fire was reported at 12:47 pm. Duncan and Mark P responded in the Light Tanker and Alan, Andy, Matty And Ross were in 4.4 with FCOs Fish and David in attendance. The brigade was joined by units from Dunsborough, Kolorup and Vasse.
The wind made the fire difficult to fight and it took two hours to extinguish and black out.
The day before the brigade was busy doing its own burn-off on a private property.
The brigade is now entering its busiest months of the year before the start of the restricted burning period.
The fire season refuses to end with the brigade experiencing its busiest week to date. The action included two hazard reduction burns, four local fires and providing assistance in Albany.
Last Saturday the brigade along with Dunsborough , Vasse and Sussex brigades carried a controlled burn for the CoB. Later that afternoon the brigade was called out to fire on Summer Brace. Dunsborough and Willyabrup brigades provided assistance.
During the week, as the weather got dryer, attention was focussed on various burns reigniting and mopping up.
On Thursday a strong N/ NW wind kicked in and on cue, the fires started. The 4.4 was called to assist in a fire in Metricup early arvo with Andy, Alan, Bevan and Mitch. They provided assistance to the local brigade in mopping up.
Just before three pm a call went out on a fire at Wildwood and Butterly roads. Matt and Mike B were first on the scene in the LT. Bob, Kev and Todd followed on in the Dunsborough truck and Emma joined the 4.4 crew.
All neighbouring brigades got involved in the next fire that broke out a little later in Sainsbury Loop.
All three fires were extinguished and the rains came to end an exhausting day. However, there was not much time to rest as the 4.4 headed south Friday to assist with the Albany fire. Andy, Bevan, Bob, and Mike M were the crew. Friday night the truck was in Marbelup with the fire having burnt over 1,500 hectares. They headed home Saturday afternoon.
Captain Matt praised the “fantastic effort” by the brigade members this week and thanked the other brigades for their assistance. “It is also tremendous that our brigade can back up and assist the City of Albany when in need of help”, he said.
The brigade spent another busy weekend fighting fires on both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday afternoon crews were sent to the Chapman Hill fire and spent the rest of the day in acton. Sunday morning they were back at Marrinup, scene of last weekend’s fire.
Around 3pm Saturday Emma and Todd went off in the Light Tanker and Andy, Bob, Chris, David , Kevin, Mark P, Mike and Mitch were in the trucks. They joined brigades from throughout the region and Parks and Wildlife Service firefighters in attacking a fire at Chapman Hill which was first reported around midday. They spent a lot of time knocking out fires in the tree tops and blacking out in very smoky conditions. Recent training came in handy with a lot of truck reversing in the dark They didn’t get back to the shed until 10:45 that evening. By Sunday morning the fire was contained and under control with over 20 hectares burnt.
Sunday morning the brigade joined Dunsborough in putting out a fire at the same location as last week’s Marrinup/Commanage fire. Emma and John were in the Light Tanker and Anne, Bevan, David, Mark, Matty and Michael in the trucks with Kevin and Pete joining the trucks at the fire. FCO Fish was in charge. On arrival the brigade was confronted with a number of grass trees alight and fire up to 3m in other trees. Along with fighting the fire, the brigades had to deal with 75k winds and driving rain. The thermal camera was put to good use tracking hot spots while blacking out. Fortunately the fire was blacked out in time the for the brigade’s AGM.
The brigade spent another weekend evening on the go with two, almost simultaneous, fires.
Around 1:30 there was a call- out to a fire on Marrinup near Commonage Road. Duncan was first on the scene while Emma got the Light Tanker. He was joined by members of the Dunsborough brigade, including their FCO. Emma quickly returned with the Light Tanker, followed by the Dunsbourgh 4.4 and their Light Tanker.
Meanwhile Rural’s 4.4 and 1.4 were directed to another fire on Caves Road near Whittle. FCO Mark was joined by Andy, Bevan, David, Justin, Mark P, Noel and Todd. The fire was burning along a 30m stretch of verge. Fortunately the vineyard was protected by a good firebreak.
It took about 90 minutes for the fires to be extinguished and blacked out. The fires were described as suspicious.
The brigade was back in business Saturday night, responding to a fire at the end of Lagoon Drive. Many members responded to the 9pm callout for all trucks.
Fortunately there was no wind and the residents had the fire under control by the time the brigade arrived. Duncan and Emma arrived with the Light Tanker to black out while the other trucks were stood down. Annie and Mark P, Bevan, Douglas, Fish, Kevin, Joe and Tony were also on the scene. Alan, Andy, Bob S, David and Mike B were on the stood down trucks. And Barb and John coordinated. By 10pm the brigade was on its way home with another reminder that although the fire season may be over, fires aren’t.