January 2019

Darlington Bushfire - New Year's Day

Sawyers Valley assisted with mopping up at the Darlington Fire on the 1st of January. This provided an excellent opportunity to get our new members onto a fire ground and gain some valuable experience. Mundaring VFRS also accepted an offer to send two of their probationary fire fighters along with our crews.  (Hoping to add more photos later if our members have any)

Congratulations to Bruce (pictured), Danika and Chad in getting their first fire experience.

  

Niamh and Corey from Mundaring in the 1.4 with a great view of the city.

Some challenging terrain, with crews being mindful of the sudden drops and slopes.

Thank you to Elton and Niamh for sharing the photos.

Chidlow Grass Fire - 23rd January

Not award winning photos, mostly taken during the blacking out or mop up stage, so no big flames or helitacks sorry, though they were grand to see. Quite windy conditions so the fire spread quickly with a bit of spotting and the water was blown back onto us with the smoke, ash and dust. Towards the end there was even a spot of rain, some of us even got chilly.

  

Local contractors assisted with creating firebreaks and removing dangerous branches, trees and stags that may later reignite, making the area safe.

  

Amongst our crews we had two who left their workplace, one recently retired, one FIFO and one stay at home mum turn out.  Having people available in the middle of the day during the week is always challenge.

Well done to all who assisted with a successful result in difficult conditions.

Support from Ken Wyatt  MP

From Ken Wyatt's Facebook Page, "Fantastic to start this day of community funding announcements by visiting the Sawyers Valley Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade Inc.

$3,000 to fund honour boards is the least we can do, for those in our local community willing to defend, with their lives if necessary, their homes and the homes of their friends and neighbours.

We must give honour where honour is due, and fight for those who fight for us in our moments of desperate need."

Thank you very much for you kind words and support Ken, we really appreciate it.

December 2018

Incidents

Any minute now, any minute now.  No, even though there were 10 separate incidents in the shire, none occurred in Sawyers Valley or required our assistance.  No one said the Q word.  How odd for December.

Santa Lolly Run!

The elves were busy at Saturday training preparing the trucks for the Santa Lolly Run. 

The mighty Austin beautifully decorated and ready to go.. well almost. A slight mechanical issue and a quick change to the 1.4.

Santa Run 2018 in 38oC heat, what awesome troopers Santa and his helpers were. Hope everyone enjoyed seeing Santa.

  

Merry Christmas!

November 2018

Fires

As to be expected there were a number of incidents this month, though we do not have photos for all, some of the incidents included a caravan fire, power pole fire  and our regular bushfires.

Power Pole Fire - Sawyers Rd

Sawyers Valley was called out to a report of a bushfire on Sawyers Rd. Earlier residents may have observed a loss or flicker in their power, a common occurrence in the hills with a common cause found at the scene, a possum.

A passersby had extinguished the fire before we arrived, though we would like to caution against such actions, when it comes to fires associated with power poles or in their vicinity. You never know if there are fallen powerlines as a source of the fire that are yet to be detected.

Thank you to the members of the public who slowed down and passed our vehicles with caution.

Mundaring and Bailup Rd Wooroloo - 26/11/18

Sawyers Valley and possibly every brigade in the shire, along with assistance from Gidgegannup for the second fire, were called out to two incidents in the afternoon, one in Mundaring followed by Wooroloo. Here are a few photos of the crews blacking out at the Wooroloo fire which resulted in 8 Ha being burnt.

  

We would like to thank all the volunteers who dropped what they were doing to protect the community, and the employers who supported them by allowing them to leave work to assist at a difficult time in the day.

Patrolling the fire in Mundaring the following day, emphasised how important it is to have good firebreaks for emergency vehicle access.  This was definitely a challenge to navigate with ease.

Goslin St Sawyers Valley - 30/11/18

Sawyers Valley was called out to a grass fire on a property, burning uphill with the wind behind it. Amazingly the firebreaks prevented the fire spreading to the surrounding properties along with the swift action of firefighters, though additional internal firebreaks between paddocks and surrounding the home are also a good idea to prevent the damage of buildings and fences.

  

Usually when blacking out we need to roll over logs to fully extinguish, a little challenging when it is more than a few tonne, luckily the bulldozer gave us a hand after putting in extra breaks for containment. Looks a little like the firefighter vs bulldozer.

Thank you to the swift assistance by Mt Helena, Stoneville, Mundaring, our deputies and local contractors to successfully contain the fire.

Hazard Reduction Burns

Martin Rd

This burn was completed over 2 different days, which can often be the case.  Looks easy.

Day 1

  

Beehives next to smoke and dressed in yellow, what could go wrong?

  

Who is that masked man? That would be Dave.

Day 2

  

We had a little trouble starting up the blower vac, great tool for clearing debris from the base of trees and fencing.

The burn was successful with no hopovers into the nearby forest.

Anthony Pl

  

Nick and Ben blacking out after the burn. 

Hopefully the area is a little safer after reducing the fuel load.  A very clever bobtail left the area in great haste at the beginning of the burn, never knew they could run so fast.

Old Sawyers Rd Reserve

  

A very warm day to be raking, though Rod from Darling Range made it look easy barely raising a sweat. A interesting burn with the combined efforts of local brigades, DFES and even a truck from the Chittering shire.  An important burn to complete considering the proximity of the school and homes.

Training

The Swan Rural Urban Interface Exercise

Sawyers Valley was deployed as part of a Task Force, assembling at the Swan Emergency Services Facility.

The Yellow Brothers? Adrian, Chad and Ben R.

October 2018

Hazard Reduction Burns

It always feels nice to contribute to making the area safer for the coming fire season by reducing the fire hazard.  Quite a bit of effort goes in before lighting up with firefighters raking around trees and stumps, or using the blower vac.  This will reduce the time and water needed to mop up later, and conserve the habitat trees.

  

Here are some of the younger fellas from Mundaring and Mt Helena doing a splendid job, with Corey donning the full face mask.

All the raking seems to pay off and the burn went well.

The Brigade Annual Lunch

A very lovely lunch with great company at the Wild Goose.  A few of our long serving firefighters were presented with their service medals, along with some flowers for there very supportive wives.  Congratulations to Patrick, Colin and Keith, for their extraordinary service to the community.

  

  

September 2018

Toodyay Rural Urban Interface Exercise

The Shires of Northam, Toodyay, Swan and Mundaring participated in a large regional bushfire exercise this month. It was a great exercise with plenty of excitement to keep crews on their toes.

Thank you very much to Toodyay for inviting us to join in the fun and experience!

  

This is the hurry up and wait stages of the excercise, marshalling first in Gidgegannup, then in Toodyay.

Dave is looking very happy to be here.

Things become serious as we arrive at the oval control point with the other brigades.

After a morning of assessing the defendability of homes we are called to urgently assist on another sector.  A few simulated challenges are added into the mix with team members become injured and trucks caught in burnover situations.

At the end of the day we return to the oval for lunch and a few great photos.

Thank you for sharing the photos Navigator Photografix.

Station Open Day - 22nd September

Yet another great day at station, meeting the people in our neighbourhood.

Murray, Keith, Adrian, Elton and Ben.

 

Everyone loves using the hose.

The kids love the Austin.

 

A few safety demonstrations outside and a presentation inside by the Captain and the Chief.

All all vehicles except the the Nissan on display including the 7.2.

All photos courtesy of Dave Ramsay

Hazard Reduction Burning

Even with all the excitement, we manage to fit in a few hazard reduction burns.

HRB in Hovea. Yes there is life at the end of that hose as Elton enters the smoke to prevent the flames climbing a tree. Luckily he is wearing full protective clothing and equipment to filter out the smoke.

  

HRB in Mundaring. Ben took the day off work to complete his first hazard reduction burn and did a great job at blacking out. Congratulations Ben on completing your first burn!

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