Timmering resident Tristan Hornbuckle's quick thinking and preparedness went a long way to stop a large grassfire from reaching his house and getting bigger.ELAINE COONEY January 15, 2013 4:23am
Timmering resident Tristan Hornbuckle put his firefighting skills to the test as a fire threatened his house recently.
Timmering resident Tristan Hornbuckle’s swift actions during the Timmering grassfire on January 6 saved his farm and the possibility of the fire becoming much larger.
Mr Hornbuckle was enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon when he realised the power to his laptop had cut out.
He went outside to check the fuse box and could smell smoke.
Being a firefighter, he scanned the horizon for smoke and called 000 as soon as he detected it.
‘‘I’m in the CFA, but I was worried because I was the only one here
Tongala and Timmering fire brigades were on-site within 10 minutes, he said.
The brigades attacked the fire from all angles, cut down fences to access the area and felled trees to control the speed.
The fire was travelling fast and he knew the southerly wind would draw it in the direction of his home.
He donned fire gear and began precautions to make the house safe.
Because the electricity was off due to trees falling on powerlines, Mr Hornbuckle said he had to rely on baths of water outside his property.
He filled buckets and used wet mats to dampen the fire as it approached.
Mr Hornbuckle said he was lucky he maintained his garden and kept the grass short and did not have rubbish lying around.
‘‘I maintain my lawns because they can be a fire risk,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a pretty big thing when you live in the country.’’
It was the first fire he encountered near his home in the 11 years he had lived there.
Mr Hornbuckle showed Campaspe News channel banks outside his property severely overgrown with grasses.
He said the neighbouring covenant was a ‘‘disaster waiting to happen’’ due to the high dry grass and was frustrated it could not be cut back.
‘‘There was so much fuel, it (the fire) had plenty to kickstart it,’’ he said.
He pointed out how the fire came towards his house right through the overgrown channel.
The channel also acted as a firebreak as the fire did not jump over it onto his property.
Several cows fled the fire but the paddock was large enough for them to find safety.
The next day they had to be moved to a nearby dam because the electricity was out for 18 hours so water could not be pumped to their troughs.
The fire burned a 2km strip right around Mr Hornbuckle’s property and was 200m in width.
He lost some fencing but said his neighbours lost a lot more in the fire.
Mr Hornbuckle said he joined the fire brigade because he would appreciate help defending his home if the situation arose.
‘‘I am very grateful to them, they did a great job,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m lucky, really, I came out to check on the power.
‘‘If I didn’t, the fire would have been at my property and it may have been a different story.’’
Thirty-five tonnes of tomatoes from Murchison's Vraca Produce was pelted at participants of Saturday's Tomato Battle in Melbourne.
Local football talent Dan Howe played well in his first game for reigning AFL premiership club Hawthorn last Thursday night.
A dairy cow has died from the disease anthrax in the Tatura region.
Motorists are encouraged to attend a safe plates day on Saturday, after police statistics showed 23 numberplates stolen from Echuca in the past year.
The inaugural Rochester Mural Festival is in full swing with hundreds of cars stopping to check out the talent.
Elusive small man re-signs with club
Federal Government contributes $200 000 towards strengthening historic timber bridge.
The NSW Coalition government will not waver in its approach to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan
Red balloons adorned fences, letterboxes and verandah posts across the district on Saturday as the community thanked its firefighters for keeping them safe.
Local sporting talent was celebrated at the Sports Star of the Year awards night last Thursday at Barooga Sports Club.
A court case site visit has lead to a brief closure of the Cobb Highway at Mathoura.
Fruit Growers Victoria plans to give fruit growers in Victoria more on-farm support as a result of its organisational restructure.
Betty Summer walks 6 kms in a round trip, three times a week to go to the gym. She hates people asking her age, but couldn't keep it secret when she hit the big nine-oh.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.