Fire Time at Guy's House

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Friday 6th December 2002

The bush fire that started in Glenorie finally got to and jumped Berowra Creek and threatened our suburb of Berowra Heights.

Thursday was spent preparing the house and leaving garbage cans of water everywhere to put out spot fires. We could see the fire on Thursday night bearing down on us from the other side of the creek.

Thursday sunset was ominous

We were assured by the firemen we could go to sleep and they would wake us when the fire got behind our houses. At about 3:15am a neighbour woke us and the fire was about 5 houses away in the dense bushland behind us. The firemen placed hoses down beside our houses and linked some smaller hoses across the back and kept watering down the bushland. The effect was that only small ground fires got close to our house and easily controllable, but once the fire got past our place it got a bit worse. Some embers had earlier blown up onto our house but they were easily controlled.

Early Friday in our back yard

The firemen had moved further along at this stage where the fire was a bit bigger after it had gone past us. Lots of choking pungent smoke from the eucalyptus trees made breathing difficult at times and the eyes a bit sore.

The fireman at work on our property

The fire had moved well past us at this stage and only random smouldering logs etc are providing the smoke. The trees were well hosed down and never caught fire.

Fire truck

It is reassuring to have a fire truck parked just across our drive hooked up to our fire hydrant. It's garbage night as well hence the jungle of bins.

Looking south west from the end of our street.

The fire on the west side of Berowra Creek continues to burn south against the southerly breeze. There's no way to get in there and no property in that area. It will burn for a few more days to the south.


On the walk down to the lookout at the end of the street, some of the original bushland is intact as above.


Most of it though now looks like this, smouldering logs, trees falling over randomly, the area generally fried, but will recover after some rain when all the stored seeds pop. Some need the fire to get active.

Burning trunk

The remains of a tree trunk that is still smouldering, by now a few hours later it will have fallen over.

Packing up

The firemen pack up and move on to defend another street. Fire engines from all over Sydney were in attendance and more are arriving from interstate to help out and provide relief.


The sky cranes are doing a magnificent job in dropping water on inaccessible bushland where the hoses won't reach. This wide shot was taken about five houses away. They are chopping overhead all the time as I write this at about 1pm Sydney time Friday.

All we have to do now for the next few days is keep an eye on smouldering logs and make sure no serious flareups occur. We are basically out of danger but the fire front has moved on and is threatening other homes.

About 40 major fires are burning around Sydney and it is the worst bushfire season for about 30 years. Wish us luck!

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Guy Parsons, lunchtime  6th December 2002