Heatherbrae Fire – October 2013 #RFS #NSWRFS


heatherbrae from airport thursday

October 17, 2013

I didn’t take that picture. It was taken by somebody at Newcastle Airport sometime today ….. this morning I think. It looks bad, huh? It IS bad…..and it got worse.

It’s currently 9.22pm and I am sitting in my empty house, the air filled with smoke, the night sky glowing outside, knowing that I should have left an hour ago. First we got the text alert message advising us to seek shelter as the fire approaches. Then the phone call came…. on the landline that is reserved for telemarketers and the odd overseas call to use up the money I pay for it.

But I cannot bring myself to leave.

I dont care about my things or my stuff…..I have good insurance and that will all be replaced. My family has been despatched to safety, it’s why I am here alone. So why am I still here?

I am scared.

There I said it.

All day I have listened to the sirens, watched the fire trucks fly past in ever-increasing numbers and peered out my back door into the smoke-filled air. Sometimes the smoke was white and wispy and I convinced myself it was all under control. Then the smoke was that dark choking black that we all know is bad news. But the air never cleared. Always, always the smoke that meant the fire still burned.


October 20, 2013

Okay so that post was written just before I evacuated last Thursday night. Yeah it was a tad melodramatic but I was scared at that moment in time. I left and went to my mother’s house in Newcastle and didnt come back till 5.30am the next morning when I checked online and the roads were all cleared and open again.

I didnt write anymore about the fires because I wasnt even sure I wanted to post it. But as I was travelling home last night at dusk, I took a few shots.

I did not take photos of anyone’s home. Although when you see them, you realise the absolutely amazing job the NSW Rural Fire Service do. There are homes in my area that are surrounded by blackened, charred trees and grasses. The only thing not burned is their home. Extraordinary. The only thing that stood between their home and the raging firestorm were the brave fire fighters, most of them volunteers.

Here are just a few shots…..not the best quality…..but they give you an idea of the destruction.




This goes on for kilometre after kilometre. Just black and smouldering.

The real point of my post is to remind people that although it is wonderful for you to follow the RFS on twitter and like their various Facebook pages, it is also a great thing to donate to them directly. It is not even summer yet and look at whats happened.

I have tried to speak to someone from the RFS Media but the 2 times I called, I was asked to call back. I was not about to bother them anymore as they have more important things to do than talk to a blogger. So this post is my own and if there is anything I miss or something is wrong, please dont hesitate to correct me or post the right info.

I am unsure exactly how to make cash donations directly to your local RFS crew, as I said, I dont want to bother anyone while this emergency continues in NSW.  I know there are a lot of fundraising activities organised in my local area but some people do prefer to make cash donations. It was suggested to me during the week that maybe tins in shops or businesses would be a great idea for people top drop in spare cash.

NSW Rural Fire Service

NSW Rural Fire Service – Facebook

You should be able to find a Facebook page for your local brigade. Please try to find them and like them so you can keep up with their fund-raising activities or donate cash.

This facebook page NSW Incident Alerts – Weather were amazing during the height of the fires. They had a constant stream of up to date info…..especially helpful when the RFS website crashed.

From the Newcastle Herald website – RFS Volunteer – chest camera footage –  Footage from the chest camera of firefighter Darryl Luck of RFS. Volunteer firefighters in action at Salt Ash on October 13.

What’s On in our Backyard – Port Stephens is a great local resource for upcoming events and general info. I know there is a garage sale today in Lemon Tree Passage to help raise much needed cash for our local brigade.

Please dont forget what these brave men and women did because the fire is now under control. It will be a long hot summer and they will be out there every time they are needed. Please dig deep and give generously.

Love Flick xx

fire banner

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