About Wednesday a series of fires started north of Glenreagh and west of Flaggy Creek Nature Reserve. By Friday the fire was over 400 ha and National Parks asked for RFS assistance. Five brigades including Halfway Creek 7 responded and began an asset protection burn to prevent the fire moving any further east. Weather conditions were favourable but access was difficult with some tracks requiring further clearing. Later in the day the wind became changeable and several spot overs required quick action by crews to prevent further spread. By 5 pm it was decided that the fire was sufficiently contained so it was left for tomorrows crews. The final photo shows the smoke flume as the storm changed the wind direction last Saturday afternoon, shortly after the Kungala area was blanketed by an acrid smelling smoke cloud dramatically reducing visibility.
Due to other commitments Halfway Creek did not return over the weekend but other crews continued the effort to contain what was now a big fire with over 1000 ha burnt and burning on a large front. Halfway Creek 7 returned to assist with further control measures for this fire on Monday morning.
Sunday afternoon Halfway Creek 7 was called to assist Lanitza/Kungala 1 & 7 with a small fire on the Orara Way just north of Curlew Drive. Although the fire was relatively small adverse weather conditions made it potentially dangerous. On arrival we assisted Braunstone 1 to complete the back burn which Lanitza/Kungala crews had well underway. Once the fire was contained the edges were thoroughly blacked out and crews returned home, most to watch Souths beat the Bull Dogs.
Halfway Creek was asked to assist Lanitza/Kungala with a couple of HRs (hazard reduction) burns in Omega Drive. The burns included several small and one large pile burn, in general it is preferred that any piles should be much smaller than the one shown above. The residence shown could have been a problem but as the owner had slashed around it we were able to burn back from it quite safely. Parts of the burn were pretty hot due mainly to sections of tall dry blady grass which when dry burns aggressively and is often a problem. The last part of the burn was not completed due to changing wind conditions and time getting away.
Halfway Creek 7 assisted Lanitza/Kungala crews to complete the last section of this HR on the following Saturday morning.
Click on this link to view Lanitza-Kungala RFS Spring newsletter.
Please be aware that any phone numbers are relevant to the Lanitza-Kungala area, which is generally west of the railway line and includes Omega Drive and Kungala Road west from Omega Drive.
Any fire permit requests for the Halfway Creek and Wells Crossing areas should be directed to Halfway Creek RFS Tony Wade 0428 199 782 or for membership info please contact Laura on 6649 4712.
On Friday morning Halfway Creek 7 with a crew of three went to assist crews from Pillar Valley and several other Clarence brigades with a large hazard reduction burn. It took longer than expected due to several spot overs causing more fire than was intended.
Click on this link to view Halfway Creek Spring newsletter.
Please be aware that any phone numbers are relevant to the Halfway Creek area, which is generally east of the railway line excluding Omega Drive and Kungala Road west from Omega Drive.
Halfway Creek 7 was again called out around 8 pm to check on flames seen by a Florda Red Drive resident and although it was deemed as safe it is expected that these call outs will continue until we get the promised rain. Whilst out we checked and extinguished a large tree which had fallen across the fire break near Dinjerra Road. This was completed and we were back home in time to see the last bit of the league game..
Cat 7 was patrolling along the Florda Drives and answered a call to yet another outbreak and a burning tree across the road. They also visited Grafton Police Station where the captain made a statement on what he understood had happened.
Mid morning the fire appeared to spark up again with a lot of smoke developing. We contacted Fire Control and we were asked to respond. Halfway Creek 7 (HWC7) left the station just after noon arrived at the fire to find Lanitza 7 on scene but fire was too big and had gotten well away. One of our crew joined Lanitza 7 which immediately left to refill its water tank. We considered attempting to get in front of fire to attempt to cut it off, but it was far too risky. We advised FCC of the situation and that we needed further assistance and a plan. Lanitza 1 arrived and it was decided to investigate the homes on Orara River in the probable path of fire. Support 6 arrived and did a quick recce of fire and the potentially threatened houses.
All crews were sent to burn and black out around the first threatened property on McGills but soon after HWC7 was redeployed to the second threatened property. Sherwood Ck 1 arrived to assist us and the house perimeter was quickly lit and edges blacked out. At the same time the other crews were doing much the same at the first property. While HWC7 did a final check the Sherwood crew lit up the eastern edge of the long access driveway (the west side was burnt in the previous McGills Road fire). We followed them out soon after, at times driving through flames on both sides of the track. We refilled our water tanks from Lanitza 1 on McGills Rd and arranged a crew change at 6 pm. The other units lit up along McGills Road towards The Orara Way to lock in the fire. We were tasked to assist Lanitza 7 (still with one of our crew) with a burn from the area of the original fire out to the Orara Way and along Orara Way to the powerlines just short of the Bluff Bridge. This area lit up like an incendiary and burnt fiercely up into the tree tops threatening to but fortunately not spotting over the road. This back burn was completed by about 10:30pm and we were stood down leaving Lanitza 7 with one of our crew as the night watch. A special thanks to Chris from Lanitza brigade who arrived with a much appreciated dinner for our crews.