Monday, October 14, 2013

ACT RFS / NSW RAFT Crews at the Banshea Rd Fire, Oberon, NSW

Early last Friday 11 Oct 2013, the ACT RFS Duty Officer received a call from the NSW RFS Duty Officer, Lake George Zone (LGZ). LGZ had received a request from the NSW State Operations for a RAFT Crew to assist control of a remote area fire located near Oberon NSW, called the "Banshea Road" fire. This crew was required to be on the ground the next day. As LGZ were having trouble putting together a full team at short notice, they contacted the ACT RFS with a request to assist putting together a composite ACT / NSW team.

From the subsequent call made, 4 ACT volunteer RAFT team members put their hands up to assist. As a result a composite team of 6 were on the road to Oberon at 06:00 the next morning for a 2 day deployment - to return home late Sunday.  Formal thanks from NSW RFS for an excellent job done was received this morning. Their time and commitment, not to mention skill level and professionalism, was certainly appreciated, that commitment further highlighted considering most of the crew had also given up their previous weekend at the Mt Namadgi fire.

RAFT Crew disembarks (Photo: Jamie Lankford)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Guises Creek Rural Fire Brigade Celebrates 25 Years of Service

On Sat 12 October, current and former members of the Guises Creek Rural Fire Brigade celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the formation of the Brigade with a spit roast dinner held at the Guises Creek Shed, located on the Monaro Highway, about 8km south of Calwell, ACT.

One of the highlights of the event was the mud cake which was a replica of the longest serving vehicle heavy tanker, GCK11, which is still use today. Members and guests were welcomed by the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Simon Corbell and Andrew Stark, Chief Officer of the ACT Rural Fire Service.

The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Brendan Smyth, an active member of the Brigade since the early 1990s, who also shared some hilarious anecdotes from the past.

Attendees really enjoyed reflecting upon the rich history of the Brigade, the wonderful people who have contributed to the Brigade over the years, the fires and other incidents, community events and most importantly, the friendships and the strong commeraderie built through both good and bad times.  Photo displays around the walls also sparked memories and more stories emerged as the evening went by. A great time was had by all!

Guises Creek Brigade President and Senior Deputy Captain, Denis Kugler, and Alan Ashman admire the awesome iced mud cake which is an exact replica of heavy tanker GCRK11. 

GCRK11 cake - too good to eat! There were a few black tongues from those brave enough to eat the wheels.

Brendan Smyth shares some funny stories of his experiences in the Brigade.
Captain Dave Wassall shares more stories and reflects on the history.

Members enjoying a meal.
Longest server member, Dave Ingram and newest member, Kristen Bartell together cut the cake to the sound of a huge applause.

Donna Walsh and Mary Cunynghame start the night with some great singing.

Simon Corbell and Andrew Stark were presented with copies of  the limited edition book called "History of the Guises Creek Rural Fire Brigade 25th Anniversary 1988 - 2013" which was launched at the dinner. 
President Denis Kugler,  Ged Morrison (first Captain of the Brigade) and Brendon Morrison holding a photo of Ged's father, Tony Morrison, who was the founding President of the Brigade.
Shannon Blaseotto and Maddie take the stage.

Some of the photos on display are shown here and below

Site of the Guises Creek shed along Monaro Highway before it was built 1994. View is from "Rose Hill" property owned by the Morrison family.

Guises Creek Station today.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Mt Namadgi Fire - RAFT Crews Swing into Action

On Sunday afternoon 6 October, 2013, ACT Rangers spotted a remote bushfire burning on the Northern slopes of Mount Namadgi whilst on foot-patrol high up in the Namadgi National Park, ACT.  The ACT Rural Fire Service initially responded 7 units to the scene, and after an initial observation flight by South Care helicopter, two Remote Area Firefighting Teams (RAFT) and two aircraft were despatched to carry out water bombing operations and manual containment activities. 
Crews worked through the night and next day and successfully constructed a bare-earth containment line around the entire perimeter of the fire using hand tools called "rake-hoes".  The fire was approximately 18.2 hectares in size and was completely extinguished by Tuesday 8 Oct 2013 thanks to the tremendous efforts of the RAFT crews, helicopter crews and other support resources. 
The cause of fire has been identified as an abandoned campfire following a formal investigation at the scene by ACT Rural Fire Service fire investigators.  
To see IPhone footage, chopper ride in, fire perimeter, containment line construction and helicopter activity, overnight fire activity and chopper ride out please click here:   Youtube video  
RAFT Crews work through the night to create a bare earth containment line.
An RFS helicopter water-bombing.

Terry from Jerra building a containment line on Creamy Flats with chopper in distance.

Fire in Tea Tree growth.

Phil and Andrew from Gungahlin Brigade on the walk out

Frosty Packs
Photo: Simon Demajo
Photo: Simon Demajo
Photo: Simon Demajo
Photo: Simon Demajo

Part of the RFS crew L to R Simon Leigh (Tid), Phil ?, Martin Greenwood (Rivers), Terry ?, Andrew Hutchinson (missing from photo Rob Gore and Travis from Jerra).