November 21, 2010

A Fire On A Sunday Afternoon

Earlier today I blogged about there being a storm and The Farmchildren being scared of the thunder and lightning.  As it turns out they were onto something.  We had another storm build up just after lunch.  There was more lightning and unfortunately it struck a rocky ridge on our property.  And our plans for a quiet Sunday afternoon went up in smoke. Literally.

The lightning struck in an area of dry grass and started a fire. The fire got into our crop and quite a lot was burnt. Fortunately no one was harmed in anyway.  It did threaten one of the houses on the property (not ours) but this was able to be saved.  As always our neighbours and our own staff were unbelievably quick to respond.  We were very lucky that, with the combination of backburning and creating emergency fire breaks with our front end loader, we were able to contain the fire relatively quickly.

Fires occur often in the country, usually as a result of a spark from machinery or lightning.  The response of those in our community is always amazing.  Today was a case in point.  I spent the first hour or so of the fire answering the phone from concerned neighbours and monitoring the two-way radio so I knew where to direct them to go to help.  The amount of help was also amazing as the light rain we had experienced earlier meant many people were having their first day off since the start of harvest.  And they dropped everything and drove up to 25km to come and fight our fire.  I can't say how grateful we are...

The other aspect of a fire that always stuns me is the speed it can travel.  One lightning strike created a fire that covered several hectares before it could be controlled.  It was discovered straight away too, as one of our staff was outside his house, heard the lightning crack and saw it start.

Within a couple of hours everything was contained.  I then did the standard farmer's wife job of taking food over to the fire.  As usual we also made sure there was plenty of cold beers....

I managed to grab these photos.  I didn't take any of the earlier plume of smoke as I was a bit busy then.

Fire from a distance

Close up - After The Event

I had managed to grab a beer at this point...
The fire is out but there will still be a lot of work for The Farmer, my father-in-law and our staff.  Someone will need to watch it to make sure that the wind doesn't start it up again.  Some of the dead gum tree logs the fire got into have the potential to smoulder for days to weeks.

So there it is.  Our quiet Sunday has ended with me making The Farmer a thermos, packing him some fruitcake and sending him out to do the night shift...

8 comments:

Glowless said...

Oh wow how awful and scary. I'm so glad no one got hurt.

Sydney Shop Girl said...

Hello AFW

I am glad that everyone is okay if not tired after the fire.

There are so many things I do not know about life on the farm. I always enjoy reading about your life. It takes me to a different world to the city.

Take care and I hope The Farmer and your staff get on top of things quickly and that life will settle down again soon.

SSG xxx

PS - are the Farm Children over the top excited about Christmas yet? Children make Christmas so special.

A Farmer's Wife said...

The Farmchildren are very unlikely to explode from lightning. Christmas excitement however may be a different story.

Thank you both for your good wishes.

Reversal Girl said...

The Darlings decided that if Farmboy and Farmgirl's house burned down then they would just have to come live with us. The remainder of the day was spent cleaning their room to make space for them.

A Farmer's Wife said...

Aren't they gorgeous? Excellent way to get their room cleaned too! It was a pretty long way from our house but still got through about 100 hectares before it was controlled...

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

How scary! Glad you managed to contain it okay - that blackened earth looks so sad. Love the people who came to help!

Thanks for Rewinding at the Fibro!

ClaireyH said...

The sound and the speed of fire is something I have never seen first hand. Hoping that will remain too!

Emma M said...

Yikes, how scary. Glad the damage was limited. And well done to the brave ones who helped get it under control.