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Friday, 8 January 2016

My First Fire...or Should I say Fires!

The first one was fairly small and well attended, which is a good thing.  Power lines hit and broken down by the top falling off a big tree.  Poor old thing! Think it lost most of the canopy it had left.

Thanks to Nikki for taking some of these pics.

We had to wait for the power guy to come turn off the power to the cables that lay on the ground.  There were lots of us poised to go in and put out the fire that was left.

 I did get to wield a hose for a bit!

And got to drag hoses too.  Yes, I was the shortest person on the fireground.  Think we can take that as read in future.  :)

I like this one of Paul.  Paul is from Arizona. You hear a lot of accents in the fire brigade.  :)

Any thing smoking over there?  Nope.  Anything still smoking over there?  Nope!

I know I'm grinning like a fool instead of looking all serious and businesslike, but I am just so hella happy to be out being useful.  To come from ten years of just trying to survive Lyme Disease, and then four more recovering, to being an active volunteer firefighter is just an amazing feeling.

We were all serious and concentratey when heading out, I promise you, but on the way home it was a pretty good feeling too!

That's Elton and I with Andrew in the back of the 1.4 heading back to the station.  Sawyers Valley turned out seven people and had to leave a couple more behind. I am so proud of our little brigade's dedication.

It's all very serious, really.  We're just happy to be doing our bit, but it is pretty dire in Western Australia right now. Today we woke to the news that a little town, Yarloop, down south pf Perth had been burned almost totally to the ground overnight. 95 houses and most of the public buildings. Hardly anything is left.

It is a doubly sad thing for my family because my Great Grandmother, who lived to 108, lived most of her life in a little wooden house in that sweet town.  The taller blondie there is me, with mum, sister Jen and Nanny Smith, at her front gate.  Andrew and I went through the town only a couple of months back so I could point out her house to him.  She made the most amazing scones and sponges in her woodstove in her cosy kitchen, and she still had feather beds.  I think now the house will be gone.  So sad.   

I was glad to hear that all the people have now been accounted for and no lives were lost, but all the same, how will this town recover from such a disaster?  What was a town is now acres of twisted corrugated iron and the odd brick chimneys.  I know we have always had bad fires here, but in recent years it has just been nuts.  

Even as I type this, there are still fires starting everywhere and we went out to a lightning-started fire in the bush in Sawyers Valley earlier today.  No pics of this one but I feel pleased to be that little bit more experienced.  It was called in early and we got it out before it had a chance to get away amongst the miles of bushland that is out there.  I think I'm done for today but Andrew is primed to go back out as the lighting strikes continue.

What did we do before we joined the Fireys?  Felt helpless, I guess.  I'm glad we can be proactive now.

I had other things to talk today, but I can't think what they were now.  Like most people here, my mind is all on the fires.  Keep safe everyone!              


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