Echuca firefighter Simon O’Callaghan has returned from the Kentbruck fire near Portland which burnt some 11,000 hectares.By Ruth Clayton
You wouldn’t think getting cold would be a problem when fighting fires.
But Echuca CFA volunteer Simon O’Callaghan, already hampered by a cold, could not help but notice the chilly night air last week at the scene of one of Victoria’s largest bushfires – the Drik Drik fires.
‘‘At night it gets cold; staying warm was the hardest issue,’’ he said.
Mr O’Callaghan can joke now, but his work was as serious as it comes for a CFA volunteer.
He was the strike team leader of a group of 28 fire fighters from District 20, the Loddon Mallee region, who travelled to the Kentbruck fire near Portland on Wednesday.
The group joined 229 other firefighters from around Victoria on Wednesday and 201 Thursday.
The crew from District 20 patrolled and monitored the backburns around the fire, which were undertaken to prevent the fire from spreading further.
They worked overnight shifts from 9pm to 7am.
Mr O’Callaghan said the fire burnt through 1200 hectares of pine plantation and a small amount of agricultural land and he felt relieved when the fire was brought under control.
With the backburns, the total size of the fire is 11,000 hectares.
‘‘At times you think you’re doing nothing and there’s a lot of standing around, but when you get to see the effectiveness of the burn and there are no outbreaks, it goes to show it was a good combined effort of the resources of the CFA and DSE (Department of Sustainability and Environment),’’ Mr O’Callaghan said.
This was the first time Mr O’Callaghan had been strike team leader.
Police have released an image of a man they wish to speak to following an incident at SPC Ardmona in Shepparton, involving a package later found to be non-threatening.
Most people at the J C Lowe Oval left on Saturday evening talking about the game but not the result. Pigeon Coach Chris Kennedy summed up the feeling adequately when he said after the game; “it was a frustrating game, but my players weren’t responsible for the frustration.”
The move to extend the Tatura War Memorial area and honour Victoria Cross hero Robert Mactier with the erection of a statue in the Hogan St gardens named in his honour, continues.
A Kyabram man who struck a cyclist on Echuca-Moama bridge with a beer can thrown from the vehicle he was in was convicted and fined $400 in Moama Local Court on Wednesday.
A Rochester mother told a health forum about the devastating effect drugs have had on her family.
Over six hours of junior football is scheduled for Kyabram Recreation Reserve this Sunday.
Ten people were injured after Two Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAV) collided during a training course at the Puckapunyal Military Training Range in on Wednesday, May 22.
The Finley Apex Sports and Community Centre has secured a $500,000 grant from Regional Development Australia.
A purpose-built bike, equipped with amateur radio, will be on the O'Keefe Rail Trail tomorrow.
Cobram residents John Anderson and Ian Cobb will race down memory lane this weekend when they compete in the annual Historic Winton.
Deniliquin Fire and Rescue's open day has been hailed a success by captain Bill Muirhead.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is investigating incidents of abortion or still-births under the Lamb and Kid Mortality Surveillance Project.(LKSMP).
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