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Here is what Wallcliffe Volunteer Fire Brigade had to say about their last few days in the field.
Our second significant bushfire within the last week in the Margaret River region. This one at Rosa Brook this afternoon got going with strong winds fueling the blaze. The fire was spotting several hundred metres ahead of the fire front and crowning in the trees. Over 60+ firefighters from Rosa Brook, Witchcliffe, Margaret River, Cowaramup and Wallcliffe Volunteer Brigades. Plus DPAW, Police, SES, DFES Air Support and contract earthmovers helped contain the fire.
Several houses and sheds were saved by Volunteer crews.
We normally like to have a fire preparedness message with our pics, but this iPhone image of Volunteer Firefighter Greg West represents such a great effort from the volunteer brigades yesterday we decided to run it as stand alone image.
This is about 40 minutes into the fire. It’s roaring through the bush like a jet engine, crowning in the tree tops and everything in it’s path is igniting. If you were standing outside looking in, it looked like a nuclear bomb has just unloaded on Rosa Brook. If you were standing on the inside looking out, you couldn’t see a bloody thing! Choking smoke, radiant heat and fierce ember attack.
The first volunteer brigades on the scene were tasked with asset protection – there was a house and shed in the direct path of the fire. Crews deployed around the house and ran the hoses in all directions awaiting the inevitable explosion of fire as it came out of the forest.
Within minutes the fire was there, it was everywhere, all at once. Fire in front, behind and both sides.
Back up was requested and DFES Air Support were tasked with assisting the crews on the ground. But the sky was so black the helicopters couldn’t see a drop zone and couldn’t drop water.
A total of 6 trucks with 20 firefighters worked to save the house as the fire front passed. And they did it! Completely saved.
….. And that was just the start of a looooong looooooong shift. Crews were then chasing spot fires up to 500 meters ahead of the fire as it tore through paddocks and vineyards. Long into the night they worked with crew shifts taking over the back breaking work of mopping up every ember and burning tree.
Founder of Flashover with a 17 year career with a couple of fire agencies. I spend my time chasing up leads, promoting good mental health and making the occasional Grumpy Firecom comic.