Monthly Archives: January 2013

The closer you get to a fire front, the closer it gets to you!

Notice over on the left hand side of the video the large smoke plume? What would you be doing if this happened to you?

Slasher sparks blaze

Gisborne again was deployed as part of a strike team to Rochford, between Newham and Lancefield.

A tractor slashing grass in a paddock hit a rock, which caused a spark and ignited nearby grass.

Crew leader of Gisborne Tanker 1, Lieutenant Mark Carter said their strike team was concentrating on a area of trees and ensuring no hot spots were left behind.

“Our crew had the task of ‘blacking out’ and working along side a private tractor which was pushing over dangerous trees, not only so we could ensure all hot spots were extinguished but to also eliminate the risk of them falling” said Lt Carter.

The blaze was sparked at approx 3pm (23 Jan) and crews remained on scene well into the night in preparation for the increased fire risk today.

The fire burnt out approx 55 hectares.

Gisborne deployed to Wallan

Gisborne Tanker 1 was deployed as part of a strike team to help with firefighting efforts in Wallan yesterday.

“A strike team is made up of 5 trucks plus a car which is the strike team leader vehicle” explained Comms Officer Bevan Moody.

Brigade vehicles included in the strike team were Mt Macedon, Kyneton, Tylden, Riddells Creek, Gisborne  and Kyneton Group Car.

Smoke was sighted on Old Sydney Rd Wallan around 1:30pm on Monday 21 Jan close to where another fire had been the day before.

The initial response of tankers was upgraded to an additional 3 due to smoke being visible.

Several tankers protected a home and sheds in Old Sydney Rd near Rowes Lane as other crews with hand lines worked the surrounds. Once the Eriksson aircrane arrived and delivered several dumps directly at the head of the fire it slowed its progress down significantly.

As crews arrived another 10 tankers were called in with a request for air support as well. Wallan Quickfill set up at a nearby dam along with Tallarook and supplied water to tankers parked along Rowes Lane. Heavy machinery was used to drop dangerous trees and clear areas.

Kilmore ICC was activated and operated with crews onscene. Multiple calls were received as the smoke was quite visible in the surrounding area but it was contained to the one fire. A trailer full of rerefridgerated water stoodby onscene to help with hydration for crews.

At one stage there was a concern the fire might head towards homes in Taylors Lane Wallan but fortunately this didn’t eventuate. Crews worked all through the night to ensure all embers were taken care of.

Police are investigating the cause of the fire.

Gisborne firefighters on stand-by

Firefighters from Gisborne and District Brigades are on stand-by for possible deployment to the fire in the Mt Baw Baw area.

DSE firefighters are battling a large blaze at Aberfeldy, north of Baw Baw National Park in Gippsland.

The bushfire has burnt around 4,200 hectares.

It’s burning out of control in the Donnely Creek area between Aberfeldy and Walhalla, north of Erica.

“We have a crew on the ready to help out if required” said Comms Officer Bevan Moody.

Fire authorities anticipate Licola Road will be impacted by fire in the early hours of Friday morning, 18 January. Residents of Licola and surrounds should consider leaving the area as soon as possible as the road is likely to be closed.

A significant increase in wind speed is expected this evening and into the early morning. This combined with the predicted south westerly wind change will cause severe and unpredictable fire behaviour.

Total Fire Bans in place 17 January

A Total Fire Ban has been declared for Thursday 17 January in the Wimmera, South West, Central and North Central districts, including Gisborne.

No fire can be lit in the open air from 00:01 hours on 17 January 2013 until 23:59 hours on 17 January 2013.

To find out what you can and can’t do on a day of Total Fire Ban, please visit

Plan to leave early – Don’t hesitate, if you can see smoke, you’re leaving it too late. A fire that is miles away could be at your door in minutes. Find out More

Fire danger rating wheel

Know your trigger to leave

– See more at:

CFA warns of severe fire danger

Gisborne residents are being urged to check and confirm their bushfire plans ahead of a forecasted scorcher on Thursday. Severe fire danger conditions, the third highest rating, are being predicted for Gisborne on Thursday.

“We’re certainly preparing for a potentially bad day on Thursday,” Gisborne CFA Captain Sam Strang said on Monday. Residents are asked to remain vigilant for any fire activity, and report any sighting of fire to 000. Macedon Ranges is currently in a Fire Danger Period, and the Fire Danger Period means fires cannot be lit in the open air at any time without a written permit from CFA or from a Municipal Fire Prevention Officer. More information is available at

Acting Victorian chief health officer Michael Ackland has issued a heat health alert for the day, reminding people at risk to take precautions. On days of high heat risk, Hot Day out centres are set up in Macedon Ranges to provide a cool environment for people at risk of heat disease. A number to call for more information about the Hot Day centres is at

Grass fire danger rises

The vulnerability of Gisborne to grass fire has been emphasised recently with several grass fires occuring nearby in Sunbury. In the most recent, on January 8th 2013, a large area was burnt, threatening several houses before being successfully contained by crews attending. 

A CFA spokeswoman said 20 hectares were burnt with a shed, car and some fences lost.

More than 28 CFA and MFB crews and a helicopter fought the fire.

With tomorrow Friday the 11th of January being declared a day of Total Fire Ban for the whole state of Victoria, it is more important than ever that people living in the rural/urban interface zone, which includes Gisborne, being prepared with their own Bushfire Survival Kit, available here.

Rest in Peace, Peter

Peter Harry, 2nd Lt, husband and father was laid to rest in Gisborne today.

From the Firefighters Service:

“We remember him as we knew him, serving in our ranks, answering many calls, leaving comfort, security and safety to render service to all.

Now he has answered his last call, and claims the promise of Jesus Christ that death is but the opening of another door.

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy, Like the wideness of the sea, there’s a kindness in His Justice, Which is more than liberty.

There is no place where Earth’s sorrows are more felt than up in Heaven; There is no place where Earth’s failings have such kindly judgement given.

For the Love of God is broader than the measure of one’s mind; and the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind!

From the dying embers of our colleague Peter’s life we shall kindle a new flame and pass it on from member to member, as a symbol that the life we honour will go on in service through those who this day are humbled before eternity and dedicated to help our community through service with the Country Fire Authority.”

source: CFA’s Protocol Manual, Fire Service Funerals

Rest in Peace, friend.

Remembering 2nd Lt. Peter Harry

It is with a heavy heart that Gisborne Volunteer Fire Brigade prepare to say the last farewell to a valued comrade, a close friend, a devoted husband and a great father.

The sudden loss of Lt Peter Harry during a house fire in the early hours of December 30, 2012 will leave a huge gap in our hearts; the loss to his immediate family is even larger and we stand ready to support them. The Gisborne Fire Brigade extends our heartfelt condolences to Peter’s family. The pain and loss we are feeling can only be a small fragment of yours.

The Gisborne Fire Brigade would like thank everyone for their help, support and kind words during this very tough time.

Peter joined the CFA soon after Ash Wednesday as the events were so profound on him at the time. In 2002 Peter was elected to office initially as Comms Officer. He was soon a Lieutenant and for several years the brigade’s Training Manager. According to Captain Sam Strang Peter had a great passion for training. “He was a great innovator and had many great ideas in regard to training requirements and scenarios.”

Peter had other great virtues that endeared him to his peers and always made him invaluable around the brigade. “He had a great strength in engaging with new recruits and also in recruiting new members,” added Captain Sam. “He was a great support for them and kept them informed with everything they needed to assist them through their training and probationary period.” Peter was also well regarded by his peers for his innate ability to provide a level thought process toward decisions affecting the brigade. “He was a great source of analytically reviewing critical brigade decisions.”

Firefighters were called to the house fire in Brantome Street just before midnight on Saturday, 29th of December. It took about an hour to control the fire and during the clean-up at the end of the job, Lt Harry went to retrieve a portable battery powered light from the scene. A very short time later he was discovered lying on the ground at the side of the house. Firefighters immediately responded to assist Peter and an ambulance was called. The fire crews and ambulance personnel tried to revive Peter for quite some time but unfortunately this was not successful.

Mt Macedon Group Officer Ian Hay said “I would like to thank you all for the help, guidance and kind words during this very tough time. As a member of the Gisborne Fire Brigade and Group officer of the Mt Macedon Group I am extremely proud of the greater CFA family. To the crews of our neighbouring Brigades – Sunbury and Riddell’s Creek – thank you for your efforts and work with the Ambulance crews. In the very confronting circumstances, your team work was magnificent. The sudden loss of Lt Peter Harry in the early hours of December 30, 2012 will leave a huge gap in our hearts; the loss to his immediate family is even larger and will require our support for some time.

CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson committed the CFA to providing support to the family and the brigade. “CFA is saddened by this loss and our deepest sympathies are with the firefighter’s family, his friends and colleagues. We also extend our deep sympathies to the members of the Gisborne fire brigade. We will be doing everything we can to support them during this difficult time. We will also support his colleagues across CFA,” he said.

The funeral to mark Peter’s life will be held in Gisborne Wednesday the 9 th of January 2013, in Gisborne. Please see today’s herald sun newspaper for more details.

Rest peacefully, you have done your duty, we will take over from here.

Vale Peter Harry.