Some bits kind of relevant to today in Illawarra…

Well, the first is. And I am ashamed to say I had clean forgotten about it. See Black Christmas 2001-2. Helensburgh is on the northern side of Illawarra, north of Otford, up against The Shire and the Royal National Park.

After lunch a dark brown cloud came out of the Appin, Darkes Forest area. At first it blanketed Stanwell Tops, sweeping down into Stanwell Park. As it thickened, the Burgh crew down at the Park realized they were in for a massive bushfire. By the time they got up to the Burgh, the fire had already jumped the F6, the Princes Highway, down past Binners, Symbio, the Hindu Temple and was racing toward Stanwell Tops.

By late afternoon the power was off and the fire had reached the Ampol service Station, Busy Bee and the Mower Shop. It worked through to Mrs Lawson’s industrial area and took out a number of sheds – Helensburgh Metal Fabrications, owned by Michael Brooks, and Kurt Martison’s car restoration business. Rajani Road was next to feel the force of the fire, with one house in Excelsia Avenue totally destroyed.

In the meantime the fire had reached Stanwell Tops, devastating the Tops Convention Centre, and taking out properties owned by the Gilmour, Parker, Host, Saverino, McWilliams, Price, Green and Armstrong families. Mrs Luck’s home next to the Hindu Temple was nearly lost. Trent Luck heard about the fire and tried to get home and protect the property, but was stopped at Waterfall. So he parked the car and with three police chasing him, ran through the bush to the Burgh. "Mosley", owned by Mrs. Loyd, was only just saved. The fire then moved to Otford.

That doco is well worth a look.

On days like today all kinds of things can start a true catastrophe. For example:

563636_445561042176335_895559804_n

Car accident – image from Helensburgh RFS Facebook page.

Not really related, except geographically,  but worth seeing is Alan Bond’s Ghost Tunnel.

Advertisements