Bushfire!


A bushfire started at Sisters Beach on Saturday afternoon. I didn’t actually find out about it right away. It wasn’t smoky and I hadn’t been online for a couple of hours so hadn’t seen any posts on the local Facebook group for Sisters Beach. The way I found out was odd actually. I logged on at around 7:30pm to chat online with my friend Gillian and she told me about it. Gillian lives in Melbourne and had heard it on the radio. Later I got a call from a friend from the Huon Valley also asking if we were OK.

View from our back garden

Naturally I got online to acquaint myself with what was going on. The fire had started in the Rocky Cape National Park which surrounds our little community. Three streets adjacent to the park had a “Watch and Act” warning as there was a danger of embers falling on them. We did start to see a lot of smoke by nightfall, the clouds were spectacularly pink and later we could see the flames on the ridge of the hills behind us. The TFS website recorded how many tankers were attending and the number grew as the evening went on. We heard the sound of helicopters water bombing too.

We sat up quite late but were reassured that everything seemed to be under control and that the firefighters felt the risk had reduced a little. It was not a very windy night thank goodness. Eventually I went to bed.

This morning the “Watch & Act” had been downgraded to “Advice” although the fire front had spread out to over 400 hectares it was not getting closer to any homes. Two helicopters worked all day water bombing as well as the crews with tankers. Our mobile phone reception was lost as the tower is up in the fire zone. Luckily wi-fi is fine and we still have a landline.

At 6pm there was a meeting at the local fire station. I didn’t attend because I didn’t find out about it in time. Someone kindly posted notes from the meeting on the FB page afterwards and I learned that the fire had spread to 500 hectares and was moving northwest and southeast. The firefighters felt it was contained but not controlled and said that they would be doing some back burning overnight and that residents should not be concerned. The choppers will be back in the morning and they will try to get the fire under control before a south easterly change comes in on Tuesday.

I don’t feel as frightened as I did during the Huon Valley fires a couple of years ago. This one is pretty close but doesn’t seem as uncontrollable as those were. Of course, they also went on for much longer. It’s early days but I hope that this fire will not become unpredictable and start changing direction. I know how close Geeveston came to being consumed by fire. You can never underestimate a bushfire.

My biggest concern is that there is only one road out of Sisters Beach and it is close to the fire. It hasn’t been closed as yet. If it were, our only alternative would be to all go to the beach for safety. I’ll post again later with an update.

Taswegian1957

I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on WordPress.com with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.

7 comments

  1. “Like” doesn’t seem quite the right thing to say, but I like that you are not currently in danger and that fire is contained, if not controlled. I expect your fire crews have been trained well by previous fires and know what they are doing. I hope they get the fire under control today before any weather changes make it worse. Just as our northern hemisphere fire season is ending, your is beginning. Since we live quite litter IN the woods, a fire would devastate us and everyone around here. Not every house is IN the woods, but every house is very close to the woods because that’s how homes were built. The only ones that aren’t are the big farm houses which were built on hilltops, probably to keep them from fires. Later builders were ignorant and often, to dumb to walk and chew gum and they build wherever they found cheap land and a place to dig a well. So we are not protected at all. So far, we’ve been lucky — and people are very, VERY careful. We all know that not only are we in the middle of what is sometimes a tinder dry woods,, but we also have no water pumps because we live on wells.

    Take good care of you and Naomi!!!! You’ve gotten to be a real friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Marilyn. we went to Wynyard this morning to visit another doctor and so I could get my Covid shot. This one is a lady, maybe Indian, nearly all the doctors in the northwest are foreign trained, Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, the last one was an Iraqi.
      As for the bushfire there are three hotspots now. Two are advice only, one has escalated to Watch and Act. It’s got windy so the crews are keeping a close eye on it and we have the choppers back again as well as ground units. It may get worse this afternoon but it is not the closest one to us. It is near the main road which they won’t want it to cross or we will be cut off. We’ll stay watchful.

      Like

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