Story from a blog reader caught in the fires…

It was a bit of a shock to find that one of our regular readers of SCE was caught up in last Saturday’s fires – here is her story:

Thanks for asking – I had a horrible weekend!

Went to Christmas Hills (CH) to pick up the family’s two little dogs on Friday eve, to take back to Horsham next day, then all of us went to the Yarra Glen pub to eat (daughter and her defacto,Ross, and my son).

Got back from pub to find 12 yo maltese cross dog had got out and was missing.

Spent time in blasting heat on Sat looking through forest for maltese imagining him dehydrating and dying there. Couldn’t find him.

Late Sat afternoon we found there were fires near Yarra Glen

Later daughter walked outside and could hear the fire coming from towards Yarra Glen! It was the most horrible sound, not extremely loud but eerie and menacing, a strange sort of deep rumbling (couldn’t see anything as there was a rise in that direction near the house & between the fire)

Panic about staying or leaving.

Daughter and defacto decided to stay. I said I’d go and take the two remaining dogs (extra one belonged to daughter) so they would have less to worry about protecting.

Son & I left along bush track in separate cars.

About this same time the weather change came and the fire no longer continued in their direction.

Houses about 1.5 to 2 km way in the CH area burnt that afternoon or evening (Skyline Road)

I then drove on to Beaufort and stayed there for night in motel, as I had heard the Western Highway might still be blocked because of
Horsham fires, before travelling on to Horsham Sunday.

Pound phoned Monday to say our dog was picked up by a ranger that Sat morning.

My daughter said in any such future situation she would leave, thank goodness. I felt ill leaving her there (her house is surrounded by trees and scrub)

All is well now. No injuries to persons occurred at the Horsham fire these being mainly grass fires rather than forest fires.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Story from a blog reader caught in the fires…

  1. Tony

    Last night as I listened to part of a report from the cricket at the Adelaide Oval, the commentator explained that the grey haze in the sky was from Victoria.

    It was a chilling reminder of the devastation so close to us (if not in kilometres, in our hearts).

    This picture and wondering about the stories that lead up to it, has haunted me all week:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01291/fire_8_1291977i.jpg

    (it’s the one of the bunch of burnt out cars on the highway)

  2. matthias

    if you read THE AGE excerpt about the fires,you would have seen how the publican of THE GRAND HOTEL at yarra glen -actor Fred Whitlock- went out to check that two men were okay ,and helped re start their pump.He appeared out of the smoke and he was appropriately dressed apparently wearing a merino coat,and after he left,putting water on his coat, one of the men turned to the other and said ‘who was that masked man”. I am not surprised at his actions ,given that he and his wife-fellow actor Alyson White-do not have pokies in their pubs and have a strong social conscience. So if you are passing through Yarra Glen,I reckon give patronage to this pub. But also i wonder how many other stories of heroism are waiting to be told. might ask my wife’s 2nd cousin ,who is a regional officer with the CFA ,after this is all over

  3. Tony

    4 Corners was compelling last night Matthias. I was particularly impressed with the understated nature of the CFS captain. He and his crew just kept going back into the ‘furnace’ to see if they could rescue and stragglers. I’m a bit cautious about nationalistic sentiments but he seemed particularly ‘Aussie’, or maybe it was that country-fied ‘get the job done’ attitude.

    sesses: spoken twice

  4. matthias

    i was impressed with his use of the term “God Willing” and wondered if he was a Christian. CFA like the CFS would be lost without volunteers such as this bloke. Australia has the highest rate of volunteers in community activities than any other country-CWA/SES/CFA or CFS APEX /LIONS/ROTARY and church based groups.A thing thta is seen as been socialism by some of our Americanm cousins ,but if it was socialism it would be compulsory and not volunteered.