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AU – Cahill’s Lookout Fire Blue Mountains NSW

Saturday 1 November 2014, was a warm sunny morning, a total fire ban had been declared, around 8am, a fire was reported near Cahill’s lookout in the Blue Mountains. The local fire service responded quickly, helicopters were called in and commenced water bombing. The fire was declared out and crews stood down by mid-morning.

Rapid Relief Team
Fire on the cliff edge
Rapid Relief Team
Fire crews get as close as possible

Local crews were left on scene to monitor the fire throughout the day, at approximately 4pm the fire reignited and quickly spread into a large fire moving up the escarpment towards the Cahill’s lookout area.

Rapid Relief Team Cahills fire
Moving to the road and close to houses
Rapid Relief Team RRT
Burning with fury

The Rural Fire Service   called in extra ground crews and water bombing helicopters including the sky crane ‘Ichabod’.  The fire was fanned by strong and changing wind, bringing many homes under direct threat. Rural Fire Service crews from near and far lined the streets which were under threat and provided property protection. After an emergency warning was dispatched by state government many residents chose to evacuate.

Sadly, one house was destroyed and some others damaged.

RRT Rapid Relief Team
A home lost to fire
Cahills Look-out sign
Cahills Look-out sign
RRT Rapid Relief Team
The blackened remains

The RFS District Officer contacted RRT and requested 200 meals to be provided for dinner.  RRT arrived onsite at 6.15pm, established a catering area, and in less than 40 minutes meals where being served. The crews were very receptive to a meal after such an eventful day.

Rapid Relief Team
The crews arrive for dinner

By 10.00pm Saturday night, RRT had served over 300 personnel. Rural Fire Service requested RRT’s continued support whilst the fire was brought under control.

At first light the following day the Rural Fire Service got to work mopping up any smouldering logs, identifying hot spots and began to develop a containment plan.

Pic 3A Pic 3B Pic 3C

The Rural Fire Service spent the following 5 -6 days establishing containment lines, cutting firebreaks, water bombing the fire, and specialist teams were winched into the fire ground by helicopter to further supress the fire, using dry firefighting methods.

RRT served breakfast, lunch and dinner each day to the incident management teams and ground crews, provided packed meals for the pilots and remote area fire teams.

Day

Meals Served

1.11.2014 Saturday

327

2.11.2014 Sunday

562

3.11.2014 Monday

351

4.11.2014 Tuesday

329

5.11.2014 Wednesday

353

6.11.2014 Thursday

205

7.11.2014 Friday

189

8.11.2014 Saturday

178

Totals

2494

 

Due to very difficult and undulating terrain, this fire presented many challenges, thanks to the loyal efforts of the Rural Fire Service; the fire was brought under control with no further incident.

RRT Katoomba Bushfires 1st November 2014