Images from around Woombah as aircraft and firefighters tried to protect the village from the Myall Creek fire that was on emergency level on Monday. Photos: Sahnti Tyas Tunggal.
Images from around Woombah as aircraft and firefighters tried to protect the village from the Myall Creek fire that was on emergency level on Monday. Photos: Sahnti Tyas Tunggal.

Woombah looks to the sky and waits as fire threatens

WITH the emergency warning for the Myall Creek fire telling Woombah residents to get out, Sahnti Tyas Tunggal moved her children to her mother’s house at Angourie.

That Angourie house was one of many in the village that two months ago itself was in the direct line of bushfires that swept through the national park.

Now, with her own Woombah facing a new firestorm, Ms Tyas Tunggal and husband Jim stayed behind to protect their property, and said that despite yesterday being “hectic”, they were well prepared for what may be coming.

“It is pretty full on. The planes have been doing laps over the top of us,” she said. “I know they’ve been collecting water at Palmers and then you see them coming over the house.

“It’s kind of eerie and very noisy at times.

“We are really we prepared. Jim’s been helping neighbours, friends and family get ready for the last couple of weeks with sprinklers and pumps.”

Woombah resident Jim Mahoney (right) with an NPWS firefighter as they put backburns in around the back of Woombah to try and protect the village from the Myall Creek fire.
Woombah resident Jim Mahoney (right) with an NPWS firefighter as they put backburns in around the back of Woombah to try and protect the village from the Myall Creek fire.

Four planes, dropping water and fire retardant lapped over the area on Monday after strong winds blew the fire towards the surrounding national park near Woombah.

Conditions eased on Monday night allowing firefighters to put in back-burns in the area, however, even as Ms Tyas Tunggal spoke to the Daily Examiner, there were flare-ups occurring on a regular basis, even as close as to be right behind them, forcing them to be constantly vigilant.

“There’s a lot of smoke from back burning the border of the national park next to houses and along Iluka road towards the Esk River,” she said.

“There’s a couple of hot spots they are continuously dumping water on at the moment.\

“We got a couple of hours sleep last night between wetting everything down and then starting the back burn behind us at about 3.30am

“The mood here is pretty good so that helps.”

Ms Tyas Tunggal said that despite it being a waiting game, there were glimpses of hope through the maelstrom.

“We still woke up to the songs of the birds around us, and every now and then we get a patch of blue sky,” she said.

“But then you look down and all you can see is the smoke through the pink trees with the retardant.”

The community spirit of the village had shone through in a time of crisis Ms Tyas Tunggal said, with people joining together to help each other out.

“Even people that probably haven’t spoken for a long time are joining together,” she said.

“The local Woombah RFS has been amazing, they’ve been open and willing to share information and have been active on their Facebook page keeping everyone informed.”

Images from around Woombah as aircraft and firefighters tried to protect the village from the Myall Creek fire that was on emergency level on Monday. Photos: Sahnti Tyas Tunggal.
Images from around Woombah as aircraft and firefighters tried to protect the village from the Myall Creek fire that was on emergency level on Monday. Photos: Sahnti Tyas Tunggal.


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