NZ Taskforce Bravo arrived on Monday (11 January) evening, with almost all of their luggage. One of the team can blame the luggage handlers in Auckland who did not transfer his bag to the connecting flight (all now sorted after a bit of running around).
However, someone else left their bag in the customs handling area, which by some miracle, did not result in activation of the bomb squad. We will let you work out who the forgetful one was, and in the meantime we will make sure he does not forget about this incident for some time!
After resting up for the night in a motel near the airport, Taskforce Bravo headed to Altona for the briefing about the typical conditions faced in Victoria, to ensure they are able to work safely and effectively. After briefings they were allocated vehicles and equipment.
Appliances, or any vehicles with capacity to carry water for firefighting, are scarce at the moment, so the team have only been given Utes and SUVs with a selection of hand tools. Contrary to common belief, a firefighter who knows what they are doing can be extremely effective without hose and water.
Photo: The classroom style briefing is a bit hard for keen action focussed people, but it is necessary to make sure that people from various parts of the country are all clear on what they are in for.
Photo: Scott and Kevin organise the troops and the troops organise the tools.
Photo: Team photo before they head off toward base camp at the Birregurra footy fields.
The main bushfire of significance remains the Wye River – Jamieson Track. However, yesterday (Tuesday, 12 January) there was also a small (140ha) breakout from a pre-Christmas fire previously believed to be under control.
There was also a fire in Melbourne where an area of tyres (about the size of a rugby field and up to 4m deep) caught fire, causing a significant smoke problem, for part of the city, and occupied two of the Skycrane heavy lift helicopters.
Photo: Tyre fire in Melbourne Suburbs receiving water drop from Skycrane.
The forecast for today (Wednesday, 13 January) is for an increase in Fire Danger tomorrow, with some regions reaching Extreme, and a wind change in the afternoon.
Thursday (14 January) is predicted to bring a belt of rain across the state, which will temporarily reduce the fire danger.