Tuesday started well. The expected temperature was going to be in the high 30’s C after an very hot Monday 39C. It was then that the wind started to blow and blow with gusts of around 45kmph. The electricity went off at around 11:30am so I decided to go down to my shed and get on with some of the projects that I have on the go. After a while I decided I needed a drink of water, so I headed up to the house.
I grabbed a drink or two and checked my phone. I had a voice mail from the neighbour across the road telling me that the farmers up the road had seen the power lines fall and the wires crossed and the sparking started a fire in the already tinder dry bush.
The hot day and strong winds just set the fire racing through the bush luckily for me away from my place.
Later in the afternoon I looked to the sky and saw the plume of smoke which didn’t look all that far away. Then the helicopters and planes were heard as they water bombed the fires hopefully in the other side of the ridge. I did wonder why I didn’t hear much traffic on the Gwydir Highway. Checking on the web I found out that the highway was closed due to thick smoke from the fires.
That night I kept looking at the red glow in the sky. One time I went out I saw the red and blue flashing lights in the near distance going back and forth along the road. I realised that the Rural Fire Service volunteers were doing a back burn along the road which would protect the houses along my road if the fire came our way.
The next morning I decided to go and check on what had happened over night and make sure that things were safe. I also wanted to check on the old road marker on the old road that went from Grafton to Glen Innes on the tablelands. This has been there for many a year and being made of wood it is susceptible to burning. Every now and then I go over to the marker and make sure there isn’t any sticks or leaves against it.
While I was there I heard a rustle in the leaves and a skink scuttled past. A bush fire survivour.
Some old tree stumps have seen many a fire and this one has survived another.
While I was walking about I could hear trees dropping in the bush. Even what appears to be strong healthy trees can be felled by fire.
Further along the road the fire was blazing away on logs
I heard a vehicle come along the road and a Rural Fire Service 4WD came along. I think they noticed the logs still burning and hoped that they would send a crew to extinguish the flames.
That afternoon the smoke had become thicker, the helicopters were still buzzing in the air. This photo was at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Taken with my phone.
Another sleepless night as I kept an eye on the glow through the trees every now and then. The wind had dropped thankfully so I hoped the fire crews would be able to get ahead of the fire. The next morning there was still smoke in the atmosphere, helicopters constantly fly around but the wind wasn’t as strong as the past two days.
That afternoon it looked like clouds were building sending the promise of rain. This was the sky at 3 o’clock that afternoon.
The sun was obscured by the smoke and clouds and burned a dull orange.
Today, Friday, the morning started with light showers. By 1pm there was 1/2ml in my rain gauge and the helicopters started flying again. They stopped at around 4pm. At about 8pm there was a heavy down pour of rain so hopefully all will be well in the morning. So far the fire has burnt 2209 hectares
Thank you to all those people in the Rural Fire Service and other volunteers who have been working hard to ensure our little street was safe from fires.
I know what they have been through as I was a RFS volunteer years ago. At one stage the Deputy Captain of our local brigade and spent quite a number of days on the fire line in the heat and smoke. It is definitely a job for younger fitter people than me.
My place is to the right of the “y” in Jackadgery