Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Wingecarribee Swamp fire being hosed down

After some 25 mm of rain overnight last night, in Robertson, I decided to see what was happening at the "peat fire" in the upper end of the Wingecarribee Swamp.
Burnt area is now clearly visible
As I approached the site, I was passed by 4 SCA vehicles heading home.
I did not enter the properties where the the fires had been burning.

There was still a truck on location, and just before I drove off a private security guard turned up.

Area of fire, and truck on site
The SCA people have now set up a very elaborate system of sprinklers, running full-time, it seems, to thoroughly drench the peat bed. This is a much better system than the hand-held hoses I had seen on my previous visit.

Sprinklers working to dampen down the area of peat fire.

What looks like mist is in fact sprinklers hard at work

Sprinkler clearly visible

This is the "top end" of the burnt area.
Two sprinklers clearly visible

This is probably the widest area burnt in the fire.
There is some sign of burnt vegetation on the far side.
The control of that fire is a testament to the fast action
of the Robertson Bush Fire Brigade
and the back-up by the RFS.
The full extent of the fire was much more evident today as material which was burnt or singed by fire and heat had clearly died off now.


UPDATE: Monday 12 noon, 28 January
Further rainfall of 26mm overnight (as of Monday morning) and further 33mm since 9:00AM Monday.
The sprinklers appear to have been turned off, as at 12 noon, Monday 28 January.


Flabmeister said...


This is an interesting strategy by the firies, but I am intrigued about a few issues here.
(i) What water source are they using to supply this? Judging by your post about the Falls there isn't much running water in the area.
(ii) How are they pressuring the system? Do they have a pump of some variety or is the answer to (i) the reticulated system?
(iii) is it running 24/7? Any idea how long they plan to keep it up?

With luck you'll get more than 25mm today, and being a follow up it should sink in a bit and get closer to the underground component of the fire.


Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Martin.
I was too tired last night to go on to explain that I could not see any "feeder pipelines", but the area might well have a Mains Pipeline running adjacent (feeding to Robertson) in which case, the SCA boys could relatively easily hook up into that system.
I did not enter the area, so I could not be sure.
Clearly pressurised.
The other alternative is "borrowing" water from a farmer's bore.
Option A is most likely.
Further rainfall of 26mm overnight and further 33mm since 9:00AM Monday.
The sprinklers have been turned off, as at 12 noon, Monday 28 January