Members of the Middle Dural Fire Brigade have helped to contain the bushfire between Menai and the Holsworthy army base which started on Saturday 14th April. Almost 2,500 hectares of bush burned before the blaze was brought under control, and as we go to press, huge plumes of angry smoke still reach skyward, RFS crews continue to broaden containment lines. Fire still rages in the remote centre and helicopters circle the sky dropping water. Remarkably, no lives have been lost, no houses destroyed. Undoubtedly local residents, some of whom live within metres of the bush, played a key role. Some were evacuated, some chose to stay; their fire plans activated. The essential element was that all of them seemed to be well prepared and had made sure their houses had clean gutters, gardens and lawns free of potential fuel, hoses at the ready. They patrolled, they extinguished spot fires and they worked together as a community watchful eye.
We were grateful to the Menai Club that provided meals, and to the beaut resident with her trailer (“Supplies for the Guys”) offering delicious goody bags of muffins, chocolate, lollies, water and fruit to dirty firefighters on the side of the road.
We were reminded by this beautiful old fire fighting engine how much the Volunteer Fire Fighting organisation has come since those early days. Government and local ratepayer funding have combined with a sophisticated level of training, resulting in world class equipment and highly trained world class firefighters.