TWO strike teams from District 4 helped fight the recent fires near Gisborne and Mickleham Rd north of Melbourne.
Heywood CFA captain Mark Saunders led strike team 0414 at the Mickleham Rd fire.
The first team of 25 volunteers departed on the morning of February 9 with two of the modern rural firefighting trucks with remote controlled nozzles on the front, one from Milltown and the other from Heathmere, as well as trucks from Drik Drik, Carapook and Dunrobin, while Mr Saunders led in the Heywood Forward Control Vehicle, a four-wheel-drive utility for mobility and scouting out fire fronts.
“At first we were supposed to man the station at Lara because all their tankers were fighting fires, but as the Mickleham fire developed we were redirected,” Mr Saunders said.
“We were just this side of Warrnambool when we got the call and upgraded to go Code One (lights and sirens) to the staging area on the Mickleham football oval.”
Once on site, the team was deployed into areas already affected by the fire to ensure patches which had been missed by the initial fire front didn’t reignite.
“There were a lot of unburnt patches in the suburban areas, between houses and in paddocks,” Mr Saunders said.
Read the full story in Monday’s Portland Observer.