We had lunch today at the Bridgewater Mill in the Adelaide Hills to celebrate my brother’s 40th birthday. It was a surprise party for him, and a lot of fun for all of us … all the Xmas and Birthday presents that were missed last year and from my 40th earlier this year were also tossed around the table!! I took photographs of all the food consumed using someone’s little snap camera, so I am expecting them to be emailed to me before the end of the week.
But not all was fun…
Around 3.00pm a light aircraft came by very low, scaring the restaurant diners. A few minutes later the sounds of CFS trucks were heard throughout the valley. Yet we ate through our gorgeously expensive lunch, thinking nothing of it.
Then the wafts of smoke were smelt on the air. The outdoor dining balcony astride the Bridgewater Mill wheel, capturing water flowing presumably from a bore in the hill, meant that fly’s, bees, wasps and anything caught on the wind would be smelled by diners.
My future-sister-in-law was the first to make mention of the smoke, but it was the insistent sound of fire-trucks, low flying water-bombers and the rustling of trees that made many of worry.
As it was nearing the end of our birthday-lunch, I made sure to carry my camera as we drove away. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we couldn’t drive passed the location of the fire. Yet I managed to capture a few shots through the door window as we left Bridgewater.
All images compressed to 1200x900px on flickr, and displayed here at 250px wide. Originals photographed at 3888x2596px.
6:24 PM 29/03/2009: Read the full story of the 25ha grass fire in the Engelbrecht Reserve, Bridgewater.
6:04 PM 30/03/2009: The 62yo man who got trapped in Blackberry bushes lit the fire to alert attention. Houses and property were close to threat due to intensity of the flames. He will appear in court in June 2009
Ouch, a bit close for comfort.
Hello Chris! Yes, it was. It’s only now that I see the extent of the fire on the evening news that I realise how bad it got. I am amazed at how calm everyone was in the restaurant!
Great shots but I’m glad that you didn’t have time to drive past the location of the fire. The emergency services have enough to contend with.
I agree with you there Katrina, the CFS have to deal with irate, confused and angered people plus put out the fires. Of the two bush fires and one house fire I have been a photographer, I am often surprised at my own calmness. Yet I still wouldn’t want to be around during the heat of the blaze.
Can I encourage any Bridgewater or Mylor residents who read this blog to sign the petition at: http://www.petition.fm/petitions/firesafe/ to demand that something is done about fire management for this reserve?
Anyone is welcome to post this link anywhere they think appropriate.
We simply MUST get some action here to reduce the fire threat.
Can’t imagine why you’d want to get in the way of the CFS and other Emergency Services,making their job so much more difficult by getting in the way and making escape routes more blocked for those needing to be evacuated.
I find it very concerning that people view these disasterous events as some sort of sideshow and don’t take the risks seriously.Maybe you’d have more compassion and sense if you’d had the reality check of being a bushfire survivor.
Jane De Ath , thanks for the link to the FireSafe petition. A darn good idea!
Liz, please understand that it is not my intention ever to get in the way of CFS or other emergency workers. My intention is to get a photographic record of the events for surveying later. I am neither paparazzi nor a rubber-necker, I realise it is important that records be kept of such events for both surveying how such incidents can be avoided in the future, and in order that a historic timeline of events, architecture and plant-life is preserved.