LAST Sunday, for the second time within three weeks the foreshore has been on fire. This fire occurred as the result of the careless use of fire by a visitor, who as one of the community, has every liberty on the foreshore, but who, instead of spending 3d. on a quart of boiling water, preferred to risk burning Seaford out by lighting a fire in a kerosene tin.
The fire quickly got out of control, and in a few moment acres of valuable ti-tree were a seething mass of blood-red flame, belching up immense columns of black smoke.
The alarm signal was quickly noted by the Frankston and Carrum fire brigades, who promptly turned out in full strength, and aided by a very large body of residents and visitors, were quickly at work.
The Frankston brigade’s hose was for a while a useless possession, owing to the difficulty of locating a fire plug to screw it to.
However, after a deal of digging, a plug was eventually unearthed at the corner of Station street, some half mile from the spot where the fire commenced.
The Frankston men were not long in getting a stream of water playing on the ti-tree at this point, thus making it certain that the fire would not pass this point.
In between, however, the fire raged, pitting its unmerciful fury against a valiant band of the Carrum brigade and willing workers.
It was noted that a chance presented itself of staying the flames at Howell’s store, where a previously-burnt patch of some two acres covered with young ti-tree offered a good chance of burning back upon the main body of fire, which by its intense heat and choking fumes made it impossible to get within fighting distance of it.
At this spot the battle royal was fought.
Back fires were started, and these gradually burnt a track towards the approaching main body.
A break was also cut, and although the workers here suffered intense heat and choking conditions, their efforts were eventually crowned with success, for the wall of fire suddenly received a decisive check, and died gradually down.
Just at this moment the wind suddenly changed to the south-west, and the workers about this inferno received clear air and were relieved to realise that the position was saved.
The main fight being now over, it was a matter of putting out small fires, which constantly started in unburnt sections, and after a while the position was declared safe.
Although the fire raged so furiously upon the shore side of the bike track, it was noted with very great satisfaction that the portion cleared of undergrowth some time ago by the council did not catch fire, and it is this fact which undoubtedly saved the residential side of the road.
Had this splendid work not been carried out it is certain an immense fire would have resulted, causing the loss of thousands of pounds of valuable property.
Considering the conditions of weather which prevailed, it is a great credit to both brigades and workers that the damage is not far more serious.
The fire of three weeks ago burnt half an acre, but this one has caused 15 or more acres of what was an ideal picnic ground to be laid waste as a barren and bleak example of Government and municipal neglect.
A few weeks’ work of modern man’s devices and forethought could easily have saved 20 years or more of nature’s great and successful effort to beautify a barren waste.
It is too late now to whine “if only” – too late to talk of the “ifs.”
The Government, Council and local people want to get right down on the question and devise as quickly as possible an adequate and equitable protective arrangement.
The “Standard” has done more than its share in bringing this important matter under public notice, and those concerned want to wake up before they lose the whole of that which makes Seaford fit to live in – its ti-tree.
As the time of “ifs” and “oughts” is now passed with regard to this burnt-out section, thoughts and actions should turn to what CAN be done.
A public meeting CAN be held.
The Minister of Lands and Public Works CAN be approached by deputation.
A comprehensive scheme, adequate and equitable, CAN be arranged.
The fire plugs CAN be found and put in order at once.
The Government CAN be asked to supply the necessary hose pipe and standard.
There are quite a number of able-bodied Seafordites who CAN emulate their Carrum and Frankston brothers as a volunteer brigade.
The devastated area CAN be cleaned up ready to plant it in winter with some trees such as pines, etc.
A motor park, or two, CAN be formed to make useful breaks in the ti-tree.
All in, we CAN at least be prepared to guard against the loss of our best asset.
TOMORROW night the Long Island Progress Association meet to discuss the matter of a railway station between Frankston and Seaford; also to consider the question of asphalting the tennis courts.
THE committee of the Frankston New Year’s Day Sports met to consider the financial position, the president, Mr T. J. McMurtrie, presiding.
The approximate balance sheet disclosed a very satisfactory position, the estimated profit on the recent meeting being about £40.
It was decided to specially recognise the services of Mrs H. McComb, who again conducted the refreshment booth with good financial results.
HALF the proceeds of next Monday’s Caledonian sports at Frankston are to be donated to the Soldiers’ Memorial Fund.
The Park will be open at 10am and the sports programme commences at 2pm.
MESSRS Taylor and Ritchie, of Mornington are the authorised agents for the New Ford Cars for Frankston and Mornington Peninsula. The advise a big drop in price.
A PUBLIC meeting will be held at Hastings on Tuesday night to discuss the special rate for the High School at Frankston.
THE Protestant Federation will hold a public meeting at Frankston next Friday night, when addresses will be given by Rev. W. Albiston, of Melbourne, and Rev S. E. Dorman, of Bendigo.
Hon. W. F. Finlayson, M.L.C. of Queensland, will lecture in the interests of the Anti-Liquor League at Frankston at an early date.
AT the Wangaratta Police Court, on Tuesday last, before Mr Notley Moore, P.M., a youth, Robert Rivett, who is said to have came from the Baxter district, was charged with shooting at an old man, 65 years of age, with intent to murder him.
Rivett, who is only 19 years of age, was committed to stand his trial at the Criminal Court on Wednesday, February 15.
AS requests for continuance are universal amongst visitors and others, the Frankston Picture Co. will consider the advisability of the continuance of the Wednesday night’s pictures at the meeting of the directorate this evening.
From the pages of the Frankston and Somerville Standard, 27 January 1922