Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Hookwood Rd Fire

On Monday I attended a public forum for an inquiry into the Qld rural fire service.

On Tuesday I was called out to a fire north of Miles on the Hookswood Road and witnessed one of the biggest stuff ups, of incompetency that you don't want to see. Qld fire & rescue set up a controll centre, overrode local people and treated volunteer rural fire brigade people like dirt.
They stood around that long talking about what may happen with the fire that it did happen. The fire went from big to massive while us volunteers weren't allowed to do anything. Then at 6.30 when the incident controller was sending in the locals to do some backburning to save people's houses, his mates left in a heap of units to go back to toowoomba.
I got to bed a 1am, I have to go now & fight a much bigger fire than yesterday with many unsecured fronts.
I will be having a lot more to say about this.

Later Published related posts



  1. Dale the country needs people like you and your volunteer mates. Can well understand your frustration and sounds reminiscent of some stories told during the Queensland floods a couple of years ago - different volunteers, different officials but similar circumstances.

  2. Was at the fire yesterday from 8.30 this morning until 11pm. First we started south towards Miles between the Hookswood & Myall Park Roads. Even though the fire had been going since Sunday, where it had started in the SW corner hadn't been secured.
    Then moved closer to home into a State Forest lease area and together with more from our local area we backburned for 18 kms on the big fires western flank which at times was as close as 500 metres
    We have another 20 plus kms to go to run this fire into a large area previously burnt.
    Yesterday’s action happened because the fire is so large that people have formed their own team of fire units & are working their own area of the fires. The controller can't keep track of us all.

  3. Dale, as John said, our country is lucky to have people like you willing to fill the gaps and protect other people's property and lives even putting their own lives at risk on occasion. Well done.
    Cathy Mikkelsen.

  4. Dale, there is a link to a large article on 'Beef Central' quoting you very extensively, on Just Grounds. Here is the BC article link, copy and paste it into your internet browser: If yiou have already posted this somewhere here and I've missed it, apologies1
    Cheers al

  5. Yesterday spent all day at the fire. From when the last of our brigade left the fire around 1am, the fire further north from where we had burnt a break went further west. Forestry brought in 2 dozers & shouldered the fire all day trying to turn it east.
    Most of our day was spent patrolling the 18km's we had backburnt the previous night & as well following up behind the dozers. Between the E/W breaks it was 5km's, the dozers by chasing the fire around did a couple more than that & the fire was growing on a wider front pushing more to the NW.
    Late afternoon we had 10 crew & 5 units of local rural volunteers waiting on the E/W break. We could hear the fire, quite loud at times, the dozers hadn't made it out. The forestry person in charge was worried about us backburning before the dozers came out. The fire came into sight & we lit up the break. It was too late; it went over the top of us & spotted up to 50 m out from the break. Couldn't breathe in the heavy smoke. We pulled back before going back in on the western end to put out small spots.
    We hadn't stopped the fire but narrowed up its front. A new forestry team came in; as well as new dozer drivers a couple of firefighting units. The dozers went back to shouldering the fire to turn it east to where there was now an area of country burnt 2 months ago. At night they should have achieved this. I left the fire at 8.30 pm.


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