Fire fighter recovers from bushfire burns

Fire fighter recovers from bushfire burns

22 December 2009

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Australia — Bredbo Rural Fire Service volunteer Will Goggin suffered burns to his face and hands last Thursday when fire ravaged the Monaro.
The Tea Tree Fire started at 1.15pm and moved in an easterly direction along Tinderry Road and into the Tinderry Ranges. The fire was driven by strong west and north-westerly winds.

Mr Goggin was caught up in the fire while driving his ute when the wind changed direction. Quick thinking saw him shield himself with his coat before making his way out the passenger door and away from the fire.

“I was very lucky to get out of there, I would like to thank all my friends and family who have offered me support,” he said.

Mr Goggin is now recovering at home with regular visits to Cooma Hospital to replace his bandages. After leaving Canberra Hospital last Friday Mr Goggin has been doing his best to recover.

“I’m alright, I’m still fairly sore and there are some dressing changes,” he said.

As for Mr Goggin’s ability to think quickly in a crisis in order to save his own life, he had this to say.

“Well, I didn’t have much time, so I had to react,” he said.

NSW RFS public liaison officer Peter Dyce said not a great deal had changed since Saturday with fire fighters looking to keep the blaze, which has covered 9,000 hectares, under control.

“Not all areas have proper containment around them with fire fighters working hard to create containment and fallback lines,” he said.

Three homes were lost in the Calabash area on Thursday with a saw mill, orchard, a dry foods business and farm sheds.

Reported live stock losses include three horses, 16 goats, four cows and a number of greyhounds.

Mr Dyce said it was a a godsend that no one had been killed in the fire. He said if the situation improved the RFS would look at standing fire fighters down.

“There are about 70 personnel out there who are working as hard as they can in remote areas. We will look at standing as many people down as possible if the situation improves,” he said.

Police have established roadblocks to prevent access to the fire area. Tinderry Road is closed to through traffic between Michelago and Jerangle Road due to the danger of falling trees and debris along the roadway. Water bombing by four helicopters and three fixed aircraft will continue and fullback lines will be assessed and constructed in case containment lines are broken.

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