Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A new year begins

It’s customary on New Year’s Eve to wish everyone a happiness, heath and wealth. We gather together at the likes of a BBQ, count down the seconds to midnight, sing auld lang syne and give each other a hug.

”*°•.¸”*°•.¸ ¸.•°*”¸.•°*”˜
. . . . . .
♥♥♥ HAPPY ♥♥♥ . . . . . .
. . . .
♥♥♥ 2013 ♥♥♥ . . . . . .

How did you spend your New Year’s Eve? My activity was determined by the two days prior.

On Sunday afternoon I received a fire call out. The smoke first appeared on my horizon late morning and through the afternoon it put on a show forming its own cloud. It wasn’t as a big a fire as the last one on Hookswood Road but then the locals were determined that it wasn’t going to get any bigger and allow those clowns from Qld fire & rescue become involved. Throughout the night we burnt a wide buffer out in front of where the fire was heading and back-burnt the western side.

In bed at 3am, back out before 6.

Throughout new year’s eve day I was part of a team that help secure the eastern side across two properties. The contrast was a study of why there should be preventive burning. The first had areas of hazard reduction burns that we could hook up onto and serviceable fire breaks which made it possible to save as much of their grassland as possible. The second was an absentee landowner, of a large buildup in fuel load and with tall regrowth over any tracks. It was only because it was a long, narrow block that we put a dozer across it on an old track and that one of our number knew that track passed by a building that should be saved it there. Otherwise the entire property would have been burnt.

We had known this property as the tin hut. I had never been it there before but the dozer uncovered a handy cottage. I do mean literally, uncovered, as the dozer driver had to remove tall grass & regrowth right up to the buildings walls. These couple of photos shows the cottage and a fairly unique thunder-box.


So at the stroke of midnight I was firmly established in by bed after arriving home with the setting sun feeling more than a little tired.

While there is no harm in the sentiments of the usual new year’s greetings I wish to say that may in 2013 that you make the most of what comes your way; that you expect there to be mistakes, but seize the opportunity to enjoy those pleasant surprises; by listening, you will learn; be generous and enjoy what is given to you.

The moral from my little fire story from the closing days of 2012 is that you can always help those that help themselves


  1. Great job by you and the crew again Dale. That hut would have been a goner for sure. Re the thunderbox, did any of you see the story about the poor Gladstone lady who had to be rescued from an open toilet pit at Baffle Creek a couple of days ago after she accidentally stepped backwards into it and became stuck with a leg caught at right angles to her body. Ouch. She was in that position for several hours before an emergency rescure crew extracted her.

  2. It came over the ABC radio news. I imagine very mixed emotions for her; very glad the ordeal was over from a somewhat undignified position.
    The thunder-box in the photo had two boards that protruded front to back so that a person could grab hold of the handles at the front & another at the back to shift it. I thought it was very much the travelling throne. Images of times of old where a person of great importance was transported on more splendored contruction on the shoulders of underlings.

  3. They probably got carried to and from their own thunderboxes too unless the thrones were fitted with a trapdoor :0)
    Cheers and Happy New Year.

  4. Hope you can rest easily without the fire threat, Dale. Happy New Year to you and to all us here on solid Ground.

  5. Last words above were, "you can always help those that help themselves".
    This works both ways; it’s always easier for others to give yourself a hand when needed, if you have done all that you can possibly do beforehand.

    The one landowner who had some firebreaks & some prior hazard reduction, on the day we were there hooked his tractor to a trailer with a 1,000 gallon tank on it so that we could refill our small skid mounted units if needed. I went looking for him as he went to fill up with water within the area we were about to burn, he hadn't come back the way he went it and he also had a heart condition.
    Turns out he was alright, he just went out on a different route but in following up his tracks found two gas workers at a coal seam gas well. I pulled in to tell them they were within an area we were backburning. They could tell me of a tank of diesel placed on the ground up one of the inter connecting roads that was beside a heap of timber.
    I told them that there is nothing that I could do about that, we were about to start back burning. It is bush sense that you do not place or park even temporarily anything of value where it could come into harms way.


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