Today marks one year and one day since soaring temperatures and a dreaded westerly saw a day of flames erupt along the northern reaches of the Great Lakes.
With hot, dry conditions forecast and the Minimbah Road fire burning for more than a week, Saturday, October 26, 2019 dawned as a day to watch for local fire services, but when a blaze broke out in bushland it quickly went from bad to worse.
Another fire, known as the Minimbah Road fire, then broke containment lines and jumped the Coolongolook River, threatening lives and property at Tuncurry and pitching Rural Fire Service crews into a battle on several fronts.
The battle expanded further when the blaze at Darawank crossed The Lakes Way and surged north, putting the populated coastal village of Hallidays Point in the direct path of the fire.
Thanks to the Herculean efforts of the RFS and multiple emergency services, along with a fortunate reprieve in the weather, no lives were lost, but the day served as an ominous harbinger of the bushfire crisis that would follow across the Mid North Coast and beyond in the coming months.
Twelve months on, the Great Lakes Advocate has put together a 16-minute documentary speaking to numerous members of the community about their experiences on that day.
- Tuncurry RFS captain Stephen Surguy
- Tuncurry RFS crew members Dan Wallace, David Moore and Curtis Dunk
- Discovery Parks Forster manager Jane Ticehurst
- Lumpys Nursery owner Jeff Rodick
- Tuncurry Beach Bowling Club general manager Terry Green
- Hallidays Point photographer Martin Von Stoll.