The eerie light of a ‘perfect’ fire storm


Picture: Yanni

WHILE CFA members from across the Mornington Peninsula were shuttling back and forth to help in East Gippsland last week, smoke from weeks of bushfires blanketed skies across the state.

Semi-darkness throughout the days created an eerie feeling and presented unusual sights on the Mornington Peninsula.

Among the most compelling were the lighthouse at Cape Schanck and Mornington Harbour.

Red Hill Fire Brigade’s David Breadmore said 20 or so fires in in East Gippsland were difficult to control because they merged into one big fire,

At one stage there was more 1000 kilometres of uncontained fire edge, including in remote and inaccessible areas.

“Natural suppression of these fires requires a single rainfall event of over 200mm which is unlikely for the next few months,” Mr Breadmore said

What could be termed “perfect storm” conditions had exacerbated the giant blaze started by dry lighting before Christmas. The fire front stretched from the East Gippsland coast over the north east Alpine area and beyond the NSW border to the north east and south east.

Mr Breadmore said peninsula fire crews were always eager to help their East Gippsland colleagues. “Whenever we have a fire here, they are the first in their trucks to come and help us.”

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 21 January 2020


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