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18 Jan. 2019

Big Fill in action at Rosedale fire

A high-capacity fire-fighting pump, sponsored by the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture (GBJV) Contributions Program, played an important role in controlling a major bushfire that broke out near Rosedale on Friday, January 4.

Sale Fire Brigade Captain Phil Bloink said the fire burnt from private bushland into the Holey State National Park. Following a wind change, the fire was burning under extreme condition on an 8 kilometre long front in a north easterly direction towards Longford and Sale.

“The fire jumped the Longford-Rosedale road in a 7 kilometre stretch, however strategically positioned CFA and Forest Fire Management Victoria crews were able to pull up the fire in the paddocks parallel to the road,” he said.

“At this point in time the fire had consumed more than 10,500 hectares, destroying basically all of the national park.”

Captain Bloink said that by early Tuesday morning many of the strategic fire dams that both aircraft and ground crews were using to contain the fire were empty.  The Sale Fire Brigade was requested by the Incident Control Centre in Traralgon to support efforts in replacing the strategic firewater on the fire ground.

“The Brigade responded with the Sale Big Fill, which happened to be sponsored by Esso/BHP as part of a grant application with the brigade and the CFA back in 2014,” he said.

“From late Tuesday to Saturday evening the Sale Big Fill had transferred 1.45 million liters of water into bulk water carriers. With the fire water replaced the fire-bombing aircraft were able to return to the strategic dams thus reducing the turnaround time required to bring the fire to a contained and finally under-control status.

“A small investment into the brigade made by Esso/BHP some five years ago is still providing a benefit to the local and wider community. The brigade and the community are forever grateful for the companies’ support.”

Esso Community Relations Adviser Angela Jones said the company had been a longtime supporter of our local CFA brigades through the GBJV Contributions Program and employee Volunteer Involvement Program (VIP).

“It’s really gratifying to see equipment we have helped to acquire making such an important contribution to helping the CFA volunteers,” she said. 

CFA
Photo — The Sale Big Fill carries a large pump and plays a critical role on the fire-ground by rapidly refilling fire trucks and carriers with water.  “A small investment into the brigade made by Esso/BHP some five years ago is still providing a benefit to the local and wider community.”

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