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IMAGE (left): The fire at 6.17am on Tuesday, just before it started to gain momentum. Photographer: Will Carmody All crews continued to work throughout the morning; clearing breaks, harvesting, ploughing, trying to make as much headway as possible before the conditions hit. The forecast was for lighter and later conditions; however the tracking crew radioed in by 10.30am advising that wind had increased significantly and conditions were deteriorating much more rapidly than expected. At 11am I asked Gavin for weather observations. At that time the forecast was for 35 kilometres per hour winds, gusting to 55 kilometres per hour at noon, increasing to 40 kilometres per hour by 3pm. With this forecast, we still felt confident we could achieve a positive outcome – we had fought fires in much worse conditions than this. Little did we know that the weather conditions were going to be much worse. By midday the intensifying wind and heat had created a different beast. The chopper came out from town. As soon as we lifted off, we immediately saw the fire was much worse. We radioed the ICV and told them to evacuate back to the first fall-back position right away.

WILL CARMODY | pg 71

Profile for shireofesperance

Our Bushfire Recovery Story  

"Our Bushfire Recovery Story" is a memoir of community strength & resilience. As part of the Recover, Rejuvenate, Restore Project, an invita...

Our Bushfire Recovery Story  

"Our Bushfire Recovery Story" is a memoir of community strength & resilience. As part of the Recover, Rejuvenate, Restore Project, an invita...