The Heat Continues: No Relief, No Surrender

We continue on. The heat has remained at above 40 degrees Celsius all day. We’ve had thunderstorms last night and tonight, causing fears of fires.

Last night my wife responded to a call out, she was gone from 10pm until 3am. A fast moving grass fire, started by a lightning strike, raced toward farming properties situated about 7km south of our house. About 100 acres (40 hectares) was burnt. There’ll be lots of fencing that needs replacing over the next weeks. Luckily there was no stock losses; a particularly awful scenario for a farmer.

The Guildford crew and tanker didn’t have a great night though. Driving in the dark, even with your headlights, in paddocks can be tricky. They drove through a ditch (which resulted in a lot of bumping around for the crew but no major injuries), found some barbed wire to drag under the truck, lost their muffler and got a flat tire. They did expend a tanker of water onto the fire though.

There was another call out today for a fire on the ESE of Guildford. It was a smouldering tree from last night’s lightning strikes. We were all lucky that the local volunteer fire fighters were taking out the replacement tanker for a familiarisation drive when they saw smoke and promptly called it in, heading back to pick up a crew and back to put it out, quick smart.

Having my wife volunteering in the CFA has its pluses and minuses. The good stuff is that she has knowledge and confidence about fires. It helps us be more prepared. The bad thing is the unpredictability of it all. Going to sleep wondering what is happening and when she will be back can be hard. Last night I was so exhausted from the heat I eventually dropped off but my mind must have been focusing on her absence. When my wife slipped into bed at three o’clock in the morning I rolled over and sleepily greeted her, glad that she was back and safe.

Have any of you got partners or family members who work or volunteer in emergency services?

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