Friday, December 20, 2019

Not Fun

Today was our first Total Fire Ban, and first day of Severe fire danger of the summer. So many parts of the country are burning already, but until now our weather has been relatively mild. Today's top was forecast to be over 40 (it got to 41.9), so it was a day of being prepared, and watching the Emergency website.

"Go bags" ready to go:

I spent the morning in my sewing room, doing some quilting. Around the middle of the day I was thinking to myself, no emergencies yet, maybe everything will be OK. And just as I thought that, my phone started alerting me to a fire right on the southern edge of my "watch zone", at Meredith:

Initially it was a hay shed on fire:
And up to 16 fire vehicles were involved in trying to stop it spreading:
I'm not sure what happened, whether a spark from this fire ignited another, or a separate fire began to the west of this one (and if so, did someone deliberately light both of them?) but somehow a grass fire broke out. In the map below, from several hours later, the hay shed fire is in the small yellow area at the top, and the grass fire is the black section in the orange area. The red area is the area potentially at risk from the fire by then:

Because the wind was from the north, there was no danger of it coming towards us, at least until the expected cool change this evening. The evening was spent watching the "Victorian Observations" weather page to see where the wind change had reached, and the Emergency page to see what was happening with this fire. And I forgot to take any more screen shots. Up to 66 vehicles were working on this fire, trying to get it under control before the wind change. The whole map to the right of the fire became a warning area, as once the wind changed the fire could change from being a narrow front heading south east, to a very wide fire front heading north east. We love our cool changes, but they can be very dangerous when fires are burning.

Post Script:
Two days later, this fire is under control, and firefighters are working on hot spots and trying to ensure it stays under control. Across the state there are much worse fires still burning out of control, and the news of fires in other parts of the country is all bad.


  1. A very stressful afternoon and evening. Replicated across many parts of the country. Emergency services are doing an amazing job but lack of leadership at the top is really frustrating.

  2. A very sad time with so many fires, they say majority of them are from ember attack. The fire fighters are risking their lives, they deserve major recognition.

  3. Hope you stay safe over the summer and don't have to evacuate

  4. Glad to see that you have your "Go" bags ready! You never know...stay safe...hugs, Julierose

  5. So scary when they are so close and you know that a cool change is coming! So much hay was cut this spring that I am sure there will be more hay stack fires this summer. My Dad used to stick the crow bar into the hay stack to use as a temperature gauge when we were kids and if it got too hot, he had to unstack the bales to stop it igniting ...which you can imagine is not a fun job!