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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Tuross Head Bushfire news - Feb 2017


Welcome to 2017! The last time the brigade “went to press” we were advertising the Santa Run and wishing everyone a safe and happy Christmas.

You’d be mistaken if you thought the absence of sirens and trucks with flashing lights in and around Tuross suggests nothing has been happening at the fire shed. As the fire danger has gone up and down on the coast, there have been some pretty scary fire days and the brigade has been active, albeit at a distance from Tuross. In fact, our two fire trucks have been moving in and out of town pretty regularly.

Curandooley fire near Tarago 17th January

Remember 17th January with the nasty, hot northwest then southwest wind that blew all day? That was when the Curandooley Fire got going near Tarago, jumping both the Mount Fairy and Bungendore roads, heading east. A crew of four in Tuross Cat 7, together with four crews from across the Eurobodalla formed a strike team that headed up the Kings Highway to join a large team fighting the fire and setting about the thankless task of blacking out behind the fire front. It was eventually contained after burning 3400 hectares, destroying one house, 100 cattle, 200 sheep, two vehicles, minor sheds and fencing. You might not have noticed the truck leave the shed in the morning or return around midnight.

Four days later the Cat 7 was once again on the road, this time to St Georges Basin with a crew of three on a missing person search. The search was successful, the missing person reunited with loved ones and the crew returned to Tuross after another 14 hour day. You wouldn’t have noticed the truck departing at 5:00am - thank goodness for the rest of us, it wasn’t under lights and sirens!

You might well have noticed the fire trucks, this time with lights flashing, appearing on a regular basis over much of the summer break around the shores of Coila Lake to remind holiday makers (and a few locals!) that open fires are not permitted anywhere in Tuross, even if you’re prawning on a dark night. The count of callouts to “prawn fires” was around five, several on the one night.

Joint training - Bingie and Tuross

And in between, training has got going in earnest again after everyone’s relatives and friends have departed following the summer break. Tuross volunteers and members of the Bingie brigade have been training together regularly and during January we undertook a joint training session at Bingie, pumping in relay from a dam to one truck, on to a second truck and finally onto an imagined fire. You wouldn’t have noticed the Tuross fire trucks slipping out of town unless you were out walking the dog.

And who doesn’t like a sausage when you venture all the way to Bunnings to get your hardware supplies? Yes, that was the Tuross Cat 7 there during January with a crew cooking up a storm (and 26kg of sausages!!) to launch our fund raising activities for the year. The goal is to fund a power reel to make it easier and quicker to retrieve the 70m live reel which at the moment has to be rewound by hand – hard work and slow when the vehicle has to move in a hurry. It takes a lot of sausages to buy an electric winch.

Another priority this year will be to reach out to the Tuross community to attract new members.

If you’ve always wanted to know what’s involved and had a hankering to “put something back”, here’s your chance. Come along any Wednesday evening when we train between 6:00 and 7:00pm. We’re a friendly lot, everyone is welcome and, who knows, you might even be offered a sausage!

Peter Cole

NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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