Cast - Me (Mum), Husband, 14y.o Son
It is really hard to not panic when a big tree catches alight, and your just supposed to be burning blackberries. Husband was finishing off the fences in the worst part of the paddocks, which is luckily near the creek. He loves his oil-dropper/flame-thrower, but he came running at top speed up to the house. The fire seemed out of control and a couple of trees had caught.
Son went down to help out and between them they completed a bucket relay and managed to put out the fire. That night we went down to check, and apart from some smouldering, the fire was out. Husband gamely lit another small section, and whoosh!! up it all went again (and it was really damp and cold - we are in the middle of winter!). I quickly grabbed some buckets and we soaked an end-point so that the fire wouldn't go any further. After a few minutes the flames died down and we had it under control again.
Feeling a bit paranoid the next day, Husband discussed it with a friend's husband. This farmer admitted to setting alight two telegraph poles and having to call the fire brigade! We felt much better! Maybe we were just silly city people whose biggest fire was a backyard BBQ?
This afternoon I was about to fetch Son from the bus at the end of the road when I noticed smoke billowing across next doors' paddocks. I left 22mth with Daughter and raced down in the car. Our fenceline was again on fire!! It had been out since Saturday night and this was Monday afternoon! The flames were higher than the car and the wind was blowing across the neighbours farm. I drove to the nearest gate and grabbed the buckets from the back. My neighbour from the other side was collecting her kids, and she had to drive slowly through the smoke, so I wasn't sure that she had seen me.
I ran to the bridge and filled the buckets, and raced up the (very steep - wouldn't you know) hill and started drenching the bush next to the fire to stop it from going further. Then I simply ran up and down with buckets of water, whilst the cows stood on the bridge and watched. By the time my neighbour came back (she had also picked up Son), I had put out most of the main fire and was trying to put out the stumps and grass fires. Son jumped over the fence and started to run with the buckets. By this time I was pretty sure we wouldn't need the fire brigade, but I felt it had been a close call. From 3 - 5pm Son and I relayed buckets of water, I was exhausted! Finally, the smoke had all cleared and we were confident that it wouldn't start up again, when Husband comes home. I quickly told him what had happened and he said that he was pleased that so much of the fenceline had been cleared!!!!