Monday, 17 October 2011


Dry storms are the bane of peoples lives out here, especially at this time of year when the grass is as dry as hay and will go up with the slightest spark. So while half the state is complaining about rain and possible flooding I really wish they would shove a cork in it because right now we need rain in any way it will come.

We have had about a week of mostly dry storms building up and coming across but on Friday afternoon we copped a doozy. We drove through it on the way back from cluster. There was lightning, thunder and hail but very little in the way of rain.

Several more storms came across in the course of the evening. Lightning hit its target in many places started the biggest fire many have seen in these parts. By Saturday night just one fire stretched approximately 60km from across the neighbours boundary up to and across the boundary adjoining the property I am on. With a bit of luck (because the wind held) and some back burning we managed to save the neighbours house but the rest of the property didn't fair so well.


 We then moved back onto this place to fix the broken down grader which was supposed to be grading fire breaks. At about 1 o'clock in the morning we started back burning here. With the grader still broken it was the only chance to stop the fire or at least slow it down. So with the neighbours help out came the fire bugs and off we went setting fire to along the already graded track. Watching out for fire jumping the line.  All went as planned and we were able to head back to the house to crawl into our beds at around 3:30am.

Silly, silly me was awake again at 6am and it was light so no more sleep for me ... grrr!

We got everything ready to go again food, water, first aid kit etc. After one false start we had to head off after lunch to another property who had fire heading for their house. In the end a grader was organised to clear around their house, sheds and tanks the rest was left to luck which has held so far.

Next we headed off to yet another fire on another neighbours property. This time we were able to be of more assistance. We helped back burn along a fence line once it was dark and the wind had died down. Boss ladies H and R, Miss K (from the property we were on) and myself were the crew behind the front of the burn who had to put out anything that jumped the line. The fire of cause did jump it about three times but was stopped every time and the paddock they wanted saved is still there.

We got back here at about 9:30 last night and after a medicinal beverage to help us sleep, not that anyone needed the help, we crawled into bed for an early one as did many on the properties around us using the reprieve in the weather to their advantage.

So far there is nothing new on the fire front around us but now is when it will flare up again. Most of the work is done in the evening and at night because the fire is easier to see, it is cooler to work and the wind dies down so the fire slows down. We spend a lot of time checking out the North Australian Fire Information website ( and although it seems to be a bit behind on fire outbreaks at least you can see what is happening.


  1. We (using the term loosely, I have been home cursing how woeful NAFI has been, and manning the phone) have been doing the same, although today it has rained! Fingers crossed.

  2. Hi Sharon, Yes I think NAFI are about 12hrs behind which is extremely useful. We have been on the phones and UHF constantly, sharing information. It has started spitting here as well so lets hope for the best :) Good Luck!

  3. Wow - just amazing post. Incredible photos.


Your comments add sunshine to my day ... so leave as many as you like.