South-East, where the fire came from. At this point, the fire
is still a good 0.5km away, but it sounds like a huge waterfall
roaring in the distance I've only just come home from work and
am presented with this. I could see the smoke for miles, just
did not know that the fire was this close to my place. At least
I'm here, my neighbours are still at work..
This is looking in the opposite direction, where the huge plume
of smoke is blocking the afternoon sun. All these photos before
the fire got here, were taken from the roof of my house.
The fire is getting closer, visibility is getting worse and
there is ash flying around everywhere. The wind is also picking
up and the birds in the air are feasting on insects that are
being blown along. I'm being inundated by tiny cockroaches!
The flames are now visible. Still no sign of the bush fire brigade.
The fire is moving at a rapid pace, being driven by the strong
The fire front seems to be aiming directly for my block of land.
There is only the dirt road and some of my bamboo between the
land opposite and my house. And being the Dry Season, the land
is very dry. Luckily, my grass is short.
The fire brigade arrived. They're trying to backburn (see the
flames in the foreground), but the main front is catching up
too quickly for it to be of any use. I have my sprinkler system
running along the fenceline and the hoses ready around the house
- just in case. It has taken only a little bit over five minutes
from the first picture to now.
The closeness of the fire has brought with it its own wind.
What does one do in a situation like this? Probably not take
photos from the roof of the house, but there is just nothing
else that I can do at the moment.
The fire is not definitely here. It is very dark, it is very
windy and breathing is hard to do - the oxygen seems to be consumed
by the fire and has been replaced by ash instead.
This was going to be a photo of some spot fires on my block,
but my instinct to get moving seems to have been quicker than
the camera was able to take the photo, hence the rather blurry
These photos were all taken after the flames abated. I did not
have time to take photos while the fire brigade was fighting
the spot fires on my block. The two black spots in the centre
of the image are from some of the spot fires that started because
of flying embers. I feel that my bamboo "hedge" caused
enough turbulence to bring the embers down within about 10m
of the fence - that is after the embers overflew the good 20m
wide road and verge. The house is 50m back at this point.
This spot fire is at the back of the block, where there is no
protection from any bamboo hedge. This fire started about 50m
into the block, that is how far the embers managed to be carried.
I'm certainly glad that I mowed my grass ...
This is the view of the back yard o my neighbours. They've
got a fire break, but still lots of tall and dry grass on
the inside of the block. If the embers would have made it
to here, the flames would have continued over several more
blocks. I certainly learned the benefit of the 4m firebreaks
that we are required to have. They don't stop fire, not at
all, as can be seen the fire can easily jump 70m. But the
firebrigade needs access to the areas to fight the flames,
and that's where the firebreaks are important. I have firebreaks,
but they have a few too many "bends" in them, where
it diverts around some small trees. Unfortunately, in the
interest of safety, the trees will have to go to straighten
is well though this time. No damage was done to any property
or people. The firebrigade got here in time and in force and
were busy most of the evening to fight the fire either side
of my property, where the flames reached the road later on.
It is assumed that the fire was deliberately lit by a fire
bug. The four 320 acre properties that were burned out are
the positive side: there won't be any more burns here this
year, hence no more ash and smells. And as it is still early
in the Dry Season, the bushland should quickly recover and
turn green again. Afterall, this is an annual occurrence up
here, just that it is normally done in a controlled manner
by the fire brigade and on a day that does NOT have such super
strong south-easterly winds blowing straight towards all the