Thursday, 16 January 2014

CFA Teams Stretched But Saved Us On The Day

CFA Article Excerpt
By Blair Dellemijn CFA Member

On the 14th January, multiple Triple Zero calls were received for a reported grass and scrub fire in the Mitchells Lane and Moore Road area in Sunbury.  With Sunbury, Gisborne and Diggers Rest paged, Sunbury FCV, with Station Officer Adam Whitford on board, proceeded directly into Moore road to find a medium sized grass fire spreading, while Tanker 2 started to tackle the fire.

 Photo: Grass and Shrub Fire at Moore Rd, Sunbury by Blair Dellemijn

With high winds fanning the flames, the fire started to jump onto the Calder Freeway median strip, and threaten to cross the freeway completely into paddocks and bushland.

With the District 14 Ground Observers enroute, along with Operations Officer David Clancy arriving, a call to police to close the freeway so that Tankers could attack the fire was requested.

A number of Strike Teams were activated by RDO14, some coming straight off the fireground of the previous Little River fire. An Emergency Warning was also issued, and at the height of the fire an Emergency Alert (text and voice messages) was also sent to a small group of residents under direct threat of the fire. The Emergency Warning was downgraded to a Watch and Act message a short time later once crews had the fire under control.

With the head of the fire extinguished by some fantastic work by initial ground crews, the extra resources were sent along the freeway to stop the lateral spread of fire from jumping across the freeway, with air support dousing a number of large burning pockets of fire behind houses in Barrington Lane.

Due to the severe conditions, a number of firefighters needed to be checked over by Ambulance Victoria with heat exhaustion, with ambulances staying onscene for the duration of the incident to provide welfare and support.

An ‘Under Control’ wordback was placed on the fire nearly 2 hours after the first page, by Gisborne ICC, who took over control early on, freeing up the Incident Controller to run the fire on the ground. The last Tankers to leave the fire was after 10:30pm on Tuesday night.

Read the complete article on the CFA website
Thank you to Blair Dellemijn

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