Thursday, 5 December 2019

Reviewing the plan

Shortly after I’d published yesterday’s blog post Jan received a fire “watch and alert” message along with a recommendation for all recipients to review their bushfire plans.  Almost simultaneously we started to hear the continuous sounds of helicopters passing overhead.  I suspect most readers will know much of Australia is experiencing high temperatures and significant bushfires.  Our turn had arrived!

The city of Perth is on the west coast of Australia and the prevailing winds comes off the Indian Ocean.  But not yesterday!  The wind was from the east bringing with it high temperatures from the ‘Red Centre’


Perth courtesy of Google Earth

We are located on the NE fringe of the city in the suburb of Ballajura.  To our east is a conservation park covered in native vegetation.  To our west is suburbia all the way to the coast.

In the Google Earth photo below you can see the boundary between the suburbs and the native vegetation.


A bushfire has started out in the conservation park and the wind was blowing it towards us.

The helicopters were could hear were water bombers collecting water from Emu Lakes and dumping it on the fire.  Ground fire crews had also arrived and were attempting to contain the blaze.


The critical issue was ‘Time’.  The helicopters can’t fly at night and it was 5pm.  At this time of the year the light has gone by 6.30-7.00pm.    Time was on our side and the fire was contained (not extinguished) before flying ceased.

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