Clouds


Travelling south from Kalbarri, heading to Perth, we had been following a storm cell for some time. Eventually it allowed us to catch up and experience the strong winds and rain. The temperatures plummeted from the low to mid 30’s we had been experiencing, dropping down to the low 20’s as we entered Leeman.

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Storm Clouds

Between Leeman and Jurien Bay we discovered that Indian Ocean Drive was closed up ahead and we were diverted onto the Brand Highway. We had been watching a smoke stack in the distance and as we travelled onwards it grew in magnitude.

Bushfire Smokestack - viewed from Emu Downs Wind Farm WA
Bushfire Smokestack – viewed from Emu Downs Wind Farm WA

The smokestack seemed to interact with the existing cloud formations and dominated the skyline even as we traveled on southwards.

Bushfire Smokestack -viewed from Brand Highway
Bushfire Smokestack -viewed from Brand Highway

Apparently the fire was started by a lightning strike and at the time of writing was burning out of control. The DFES issued a Bushfire Emergency Warning

Emergency

Emergency

Emergency

I guess when you choose to live in this kind of environment you accept that there are risks. You also accept that others may have to put themselves at risk on your behalf when the worst happens.

One can only hope that, on this occasion, nobody is injured or loses their life.

 

Too Close For Comfort


For the second time in only a couple of weeks we have had a significant fire fairly close to us. This time the fire was just 2.3km away and the smoke from the fire  was being blown just slightly west of us. Multiple fire fighting aircraft  were buzzing directly overhead.

Here are some photos that I took this afternoon.

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Fire Smoke – Viewed from Thornlie
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Fire Smoke – Rising from beyond school buildings. Source is apparently the other side of Garden St.
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Fire Fighters Dropping Water – Detail from previous photo.

According to the DFES, more than fifty career Fire and Rescue Service and Bush Fire Service firefighters from six brigades were on the scene. They were supported by three helicopters and two bi-plane water bombers

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Bell 214B Big Lifter – Operated by  McDermott Aviation
Bell 214B Big Lifter > 214B-1
Bell 214B Big Lifter  – Operated by McDermott Aviation

This area is known as Forest Lakes. Most of the housing estates incorporate ponds and lakes.

Filling Up - Bell 214B Big Lifter - Operated by McDermott Aviation
Filling Up – Bell 214B Big Lifter – Operated by McDermott Aviation

The water bombers, at least the helicopters, make good use of nearby lakes to replenish their tanks.

We All Got Wet - Bell 214B Big Lifter - Operated by McDermott Aviation
We All Got Wet – Bell 214B Big Lifter – Operated by McDermott Aviation

We had a ringside seat for one such refill.

Dunn Aviation Air Tractor AT-802A (Water Bomber)
Dunn Aviation Air Tractor AT-802A (Water Bomber)

Thankfully this fire did not take any lives.