Wednesday, January 9, 2013

ACT Region Fires 5-9 Jan 2013

Between 5 and 9 January, ACT RFS crews attended numerous fires created by lightning strikes after a storm came through from the south east. The pressure was on to get these fires under control before the catastrophic conditions of 8 January2013 hit.

There are too many fires to list individually however photos from Brigade firefighters will be added to this Blog as they become available. Could all ACT RFS members who have attended any of these fires please send your best photos with a caption and location details to and he will add them to this Blog.

ACT RFS Strike Team members Ben Saywell, Dominique Rowson and Garry Mayo mopping up at the Mt Fairy fire near Bungendore
The Firestarter Storm - 5 Jan 2013

This storm came in from the South East at around 5:00pm on 5 Jan and started numerous fires due to lightning strikes. This photo was taken from the Monaro Highway looking towards the Coast.

Bryan Cunynghame and Michael Blaseotto plotting lighting strike locations based on bearings provided by the crews from One-Tree, Kowan, Tennant and Coree Fire Towers on 5 Jan.

An ACT RFS fire truck overheats in the 39 degree temperatures as the storm front approaches on 5 Jan 2013. The ESA workshops crew were quick to get this vehicle back on the road.
Kowan Area Fires
There were a number of lightning strikes with direct hits in the pine trees in the Kowan forest are near Queanbeyan. Kowen Tower had called in the lightning strike locations and Parks units were quick to respond and contained several fires before they got out of hand.
 Mt Fairy Fire - about 12 kms north of Bungendore on the Tarago Road

An ACT Strike Force team comprising about 8 fire units was tasked to assist NSW in perfoming overnight mopping up and containment operations on a property near Mt Fairy. This gave NSW crews a break ready to hand over again in the morning.
ACT Strike Force team members waiting to be briefed at the Mt Fairy Fire

ACT RFS Strike Team members Ben Saywell, Dominique Rowson and Garry Mayo mopping up at the Mt Fairy fire near Bungendore
Mt Fairy - The fire was contained but there were lots of trees and logs showering sparks across the paddock.
Mt Fairy - Firefighters were surrounded by fire but managed to keep the perimeter secure overnight.
Mt Fairy - Firefighters putting out a pine tree in a paddock with 300 sheep in it.

 Sunday 6 January - Another firestarter storm!

A second storm front came through late in the afternoon on Sunday 6 Jan 2013. This storm also started more fires in and around the ACT including Namadgi National Park, Cooma, Bungendore, Gundaroo areas. Photo taken from Guises Creek Station located on the Monaro Highway near Royalla.
 Tuesday 8 Jan - Catastrophic Conditions

ACT Rural Fire Service crews on high alert ready to respond to any fires on Tuesday 8 Jan 2013

All available ACT fire resources were fully crewed and on standby ready for the potential catastrophic day ahead. A number of ACT crews responded to Bungendore and other fires in the region later that afternoon.   

An aerial view of the Oaks Estate fire which stated on 8 January 2013 during catastrophic fire weather. A heavy and quick response from ACT Rural Fire Service units successfully contained the fire. 

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