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Aussie_Wildfire's Discussions

Record Heatwave. 19 going Wildfires

Started this discussion. Last reply by lutan1 Feb 8, 2009. 46 Replies

Happy Birthday Michael Schlags

Started this discussion. Last reply by Izzy Jan 27, 2009. 37 Replies

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Life wasn't meant to be easy

Aussie_Wildfire's Blog

WILDFIRE At Home In a Wildfire

Posted on December 24, 2008 at 6:30am 2 Comments

This is a story of my experiences that I was asked to write for a local book about a wildfire that came through my area in 2006.

30 celsius is 86F

Just to refresh your memory, the Grampians fires, started on Thursday night the 19/1/06 by lightning strike on Mt Lubra. The fire was not found until 7.30 am the next morning. The forecast was hot and dry with a north wind until Sunday with a southerly… Continue

Profile Information

Type of Organization
Fire/Rescue Department - Volunteer
Job Function
Years in Fire/EMS:
Primary Fire/EMS Department:
Country Fire Authority Victoria Australia
Years With Department/Agency
Dept. Web Site:
My Training:
Fireline leadership, wildfire, low structure, Hazmat,Class A foam, fuse removel, 4 wheel truck driving, Crewleader, plantation firefighting. Strike team leader, Brigades in schools.
About Me:
I am a volunteer member of a small country brigade of 25 members.
It is a tourist town of 350 locals, but we can have 10,000 tourist at any one time. We only deal with fires. The CFA is a state organization of 50,000 firefighters and 1200 brigades
Relationship Status:
Why I Joined Fire/EMS
A mate asked me to join too make up numbers- and like a mug, I am still here.
Why I Love Fire/EMS
Big red toys, water, excitement, fire, mates. It's good to be with mates and get a job done well.
Top Issues Facing Responders:
Safety and the lack of ability to change for the better.

My Toy

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Comment Wall (7 comments)

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At 10:40pm on February 4, 2009, Tony P said…
Yes, I read Mike's comment - I jumped to his page and left one for him too. We have the full ACT video - graphic is the word. I suggested to Mike that one of us needs to start a blog where those of us who've seen the vid/know the story can chat about it.

There's been a fire going just east of the Dandenong Ranges since last week, it's just flared up again according to one of the DSE towers. Bunyip State PArk.
At 6:19pm on February 4, 2009, Tony P said…
Welcome back mate. Did we keep your thread going well enough for you?
At 1:35pm on February 4, 2009, Mike Schlags (Captain Busy) Retd said…
Hey guy, sitting waiting to hear whether I got the new job or not... the good news is that my station is really quite a nice piece of real estate. I've been getting up early when I'm on duty, since returning back to full duty since 1/18/09. Watching the sun come up over the ocean is really quite spectacular. You should share with me what Aussie sunrises are all about.

Ah the Canberra Incident... That was one LONG DVD... Was one of you three the driver of the chief's vehicle that was rescuing the civilian population as well as firefighters? The fire seemed to go on and on and on and on... How long was the flame front? It seemed like a very impossible situation, especially when you see a firetruck on fire along the side of the road.

Anyway, what you guys want is some feedback, so here's a start:

1. Why on earth were multiple firetrucks hosing down eucalyptus trees instead of protecting houses?
2. Can backfiring techniques be employed to create black areas to help direct the fires ar0und structures?
3. We need to discuss further the concept of homeowners staying behind to save their structure. Too many needed rescue which diverted minimal firefighting forces to do any suppression activities.
4. Do you have air tankers to do fire retardant drops ahead of the fire front? Helicopters?
5. What was the plan?
6. How much time did you know that the fire front was going to hit the structures?
7. Are your engines set up for pump and roll evolutions, moving from house to house?
8. Do you have the ability to foam structures ahead of the fire front?
9. I did not hear radio traffic that reflected use of the ICS system where areas are divided up into a command structure but then again, some of the language was difficult to understand do to different terminology.

That's a good start guys. Talk to you soon.

At 8:10am on January 21, 2009, Sarah Canfield. said…
don't you guys have 33 tankers and a pumper ow and your getting a new station soon lol
At 10:28pm on January 2, 2009, Jessica Travis said…
i re posted
At 10:56am on December 31, 2008, Tiger Schmittendorf said…
Thanks for the tip -

Please e-mail me at to further the discussion.

Hope you have a Safe and Happy New Year!

Stay safe. Train often.
At 7:01am on December 29, 2008, lutan1 said…
Mike is good value- we've been sharing emails back and forth for a while now. The Canberra fires will definitely go down in the history books for all the wrong reasosn. There's some amazing video footage....

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