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.
A Shepparton bus service that takes nightclub patrons home safely is celebrating its fifth anniversary of operation this weekend.
It’s been a long journey for Tim Roadley but his dream of creating a multi-sport endurance event on the Murray River is now going to be a reality.
It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.
Moama's Shirley Durrant has been wowing district pudding eaters for the past 23 years with her Christmas delights.
On Friday Rochester’s St Joseph’s Primary School opened a time capsule which was buried in the 1980s.
Waste collection in Campaspe Shire will change for two weeks during the festive season.
Valley Park Farms' egg production facility is expected to increase production and staff after a $100 000 Victorian Government grant.
Murchison’s Jane Spencer’s first exhibition It Just Dawned On Me will be on show in Shepparton in the first half of next year.
Lisa Milligan has started a new dog grooming business in Heathcote to help fund her Wild ABout Wildlife centre in Kilmore.
A group of volunteers have worked to revitalise the Cobram motorcross track to improve safety and attract new members to the club.
Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley says plans are in the works on how to get natural gas to Deniliquin.
New Transport Accident Commission research has revealed why some young country drivers habitually take risks on regional roads.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Parks Victoria and Country Fire Authority will be performing planned burns in Goomalibee on Monday.
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