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Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Story - A True Story Part 6 - Black Saturday

Part 5
Yeah taken a break. Slept last night in the knowledge I was going to try and get back into Marysville tomorrow with useful items, like food, fuel, animal food and repair equipment.

My parents used to own a commercial property which they ran single-handed until 12 months ago. That business is now gone, burnt to the ground – like the rest of the businesses in town.

The fires didn’t start in Marysville, they started in Murrindindi, apparently deliberately lit – but no-one has been caught yet.

Today – My husband, myself and my brother came up the major roads - so from Ringwood the Maroondah Highway - talked my way through the 1st road block (at the beginning of the spur) There the police took our registration and drivers licence details and explained to us – that the only reason they were taking this information was to be able to identify us WHEN we were caught in the Mt Riddell fires.

On the way up – we spotted a bulldozer driver, who had come in from Gippsland to help, he had pulled over to the side of road, with a flat tyre. We helped – we couldn’t leave him there. There was no traffic only a CFA fire truck coming back to change crews – so it was relative safe to do so. I stayed outside the vehicle just in case any traffic that did come through knew that we were there. Finally he was mobile again, after telling us that he had been called in from Gippsland (also fire affected) to help doze in control lines. We wished him luck and went on our way.

We managed to get within 3km of Marysville - and then stopped by the police at the two main road access points into Marysville. There are other points in - but they are through the bush and I wasn’t that brave - I wasn’t going to travel on unmade dirt tracks, towing a trailer - without knowing what lay ahead. Although we had chainsaws, the trees were still falling and it was still too dangerous.

The police refused to escort us - they refused to contact my parents, the police also refused to bring my parents to the road block to pick up the supplies we had bought. They knew who I was, they knew my parents, One of the attending officers had chased me out of town only 24 hours earlier. We were told to come back in 1 hour, not sure why, perhaps there was going to be a change of shift? – No idea why we were told that – but we presented again and were told no entry.

We left the fuel and food at a local farmers place after having a chat and a coffee - typical bloody farmer! - He can’t get into town either - BUT........... he may try to get in there later tonight via road OR motorbike - not sure if he can - or if he is game enough - I am trying to organise CB contact as I know that there are CB radios in town and if I can get someone on the outside and someone on the inside then I have a line of communication.

That is about it. We have done as much as I can - We left the township before they closed the spur again as it was under threat of ANOTHER fire - from Mt Riddell

We had to stop in Healesville to check on someone and whilst there witnessed Elvis dropping water on the Mt Riddell fire in the mountains and then 2 hours later receive a phone call that Doms' road and Myers Creek road are being evacuated – Our friend in Healesville was one of those evacuated- he is now sleeping about 500m down the road!

Anyway time for me to hit the deck, it’s been a long day.

Part 7

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