We spoke with Paul from FRNSW 312 Gulgong about a recent truck rollover and fire he attended with 387 Mudgee.
At 12.40 on the 26th of June 2017, pump 387 and HT 387 were responded along with the NSW Rural Fire Service to an overturned semi trailer carrying approximately 300 sheep that had caught alight on impact on the Hill End Road, approximately 25kms from Mudgee. Large black plumes of smoke were visible en route.
What did you find on arrival?
We located a truck overturned in the bushland and down an embankment, fully involved in fire – which was exacerbated by ruptured diesel tanks. Thermal imaging was showing temperatures in excess of 400 degrees at the front of the truck.
What actions did you take?
Two crews in BA on 38mm attack lines dealt with the inferno, while other firefighters attended to the resulting grass fire around the perimeter before it spread up into the mountainous area on either side of the road. Fire & Rescue worked alongside firefighters from the NSW Rural Fire Service to bring the fire under control. At least 200 sheep perished along with a work dog. The driver was pulled from the wreckage, unconscious, with the truck on fire, by a nurse that happened to be passing by.
What challenges did you face?
Water was very limited in that location and required multiple NSW RFS appliances to assist. On top of that there is no radio or phone reception in that area so we were running blind.