Canyonleigh experienced its largest fire in several years in late September at a location mid-way between Old Coowong & Bangadilly Roads. Mid-afternoon on Wednesday 20 September a fire call was received reporting a large plume of smoke in the Bangadilly Road area. Rapid responses from a number of brigades quickly located the fire in difficult to access terrain. As ground-based brigades couldn’t easily access the front, the fire quickly grew. From mid afternoon to around 11pm brigades actively fought to contain the fire’s growing edge – especially as a southerly change was forecast for later in the evening. Although the front was weaker than expected, the size of the fire grew overnight. On the Thursday, two crews from Canyonleigh were joined by other brigades to fight the fire and implement property protection of assets on three adjoining properties. Brigades came from as far south as Goulburn and from Picton in the north. A full day of activities saw brigades, two water-bombing helicopters and a bulldozer secure the fire’s edges, backburning to create perimeters around assets, construct drivable tracks and liaise with local residents.
By the Friday morning, the immediate threat had passed and the fire, still burning in areas, was well contained while brigades and a chopper commenced monitoring and blacking-out.
The brigade’s Facebook page regularly updated posts and images to keep local residents abreast of the incident. Most of the posts got over 4000 hits at a time!
Of major concern was on the Friday when a fire jumped containment lines and almost burnt down a local’s dunny. Quick action by Middle Arm’s Bill and Jeff, together with Canyonleigh’s Captain Brett diverted a major disaster!
After five days the fire, which grew to some 75 hectares, was declared over. We would like to thank brigades from Goulburn, Big Hill, Middle Arm, Wingello, Moss Vale, Exeter, Penrose, Pheasants Nest, National Parks, our chopper pilots, Southern Highlands Support and out Group Captain Craig for their expertise and support.