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In line of fire, two fighters' tales

12th February 2009

TWO volunteer Knox firefighters who battled the recent bushfire in Endeavour Hills say it was one of the biggest blazes they’ve fought.

Rowville CFA captain John Farrer and Scoresby CFA member Stuart Bluck were part of the initial strike team that fought the 45ha fire in Churchill National Park on January 30.

The blaze, which was started by a car accident at the corner of Churchill Park Drive and Power Rd, was contained late that night and no homes were destroyed.

The nearby Churchill Park Golf Club incurred some minor damage.

Mr Farrer said it could have been a lot worse if not for the swift intervention of emergency crews. “It was a 45-degree day with a roaring wind,” he said.

“The fire was very intense and by the time we got there it was out of control.”

Mr Farrer said the fire, attended by more than 350 firefighters, more than 80 fire trucks and four helicopters, was one of the most dangerous he had fought. It took about eight hours to bring the fire under control, but crews were still on the scene until late on Monday monitoring fire activity and strengthening containment lines.

Mr Farrer said he had fought a fierce fire in 2003 which had started in the quarry, but “that was not as intense as this because of the weather factors”.

“Mr Bluck said being thrust into the front line of a raging fire had been a shock to his system. “It was incredibly hot,” he said.

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