Kangaroo Island Fires - Parndana CFS & KI Brigades

Hi, my name is Rhyy Gaskin and this is my story about the current fires that are burning through Kangaroo Island, South Australia.

On Friday 20th December, our beautiful Island home caught fire. We had roughly 17 fires all within an hour that had started due to dry lightening, and from there it just got worse. Local crews were sent out to fight and that they did. My husband went out 1130am came back home at 1500pm and then was back out from 2000pm-0900am. That was only the first day, and he wasn't the only one.

(Captured 29/12/2019 - Constitution Hill)

(Captured 29/12/2019 - Constitution Hill)

On the 21st December, we had 6 active fires that our local crews, farmers and volunteers were battling.

Its all a bit of a blur as to when crews from the mainland were sent to support us in taming the fires, however I feel it was from the 22nd December. (Captured in Parndana township 22/12/2019)

Our town was lined with trucks for days. The Duncan fire was definitely the worst with people losing houses, holiday accommodation, wildlife, protected species habitats, livestock, machinery and pasture.

Watching the weather forecast like hawks, we had a week before the next bad onset of dry, hot, stormy and windy weather, which was due on the 30th December... The CFS, SES, Air support and local farmers worked tirelessly - some volunteering their time on Christmas day to keep battling. 

Thankfully, the Duncan fire was contained and controlled as best as possible because what Monday brought us was nothing short of more devastation.

(Captured on 25/12/2019  "It doesn't stop just because its Christmas...")

Our small town of Parndana was in the predicted threat line; predictions were that the Duncan fire embers may be blown into unburnt pasture. A town meeting was held with local authorities and Council to explain the potential threat and that if people were to leave to do so early. Retardant was dropped to protect the town and fire breaks put in farmers paddocks.

(Captured at the Duncan fire)

(Captured at the Duncan fire)

As predicted, at 03:15am the storm hit, dry lightening striking every where. By 04:30am, crews were deployed with more on standby. 

(Captured at Vivonne Bay 30/12/2019)

 Fortunately, Parndana was safe but not to no destruction elsewhere. A fire had started in the Ravine (National Park) - and to this day 02/01/2020 we are still fighting to contain it. Homes have again been lost, pasture, wildlife etc.

(Captured 01/01/2020)

(Ravine - Cape Torrens captured on 01/01/2020)
(Smoke tornado captured on 01/01/2020)

(Captured 01/01/2020)

We have quite a bit of mainland support now. But to say that the first 7 days weren't tough, would be a lie. We are a very small town and our community came together to accommodate people, provide transport, pick up resources from our main township 30 minutes away, clean etc.

 (Captured 01/01/2020)

Unfortunately, tomorrow, 03/01/2020 is bringing us more bad weather. Temperatures of 41 degrees, wind that is going here there and everywhere and more lightening in the evening.|

We know that it will end eventually, but locals are getting disheartened and everyone is worn out, but we will keep fighting, keep pushing ourselves until mother nature decides to give us a break.

I have been supporting in the logistic role (primarily catering) at the CFS station since the 20th December 2019, and I have learnt a lot; how such mundane things actually support our crews and local farmers.

 Something that seems so small but would have such a big impact is a cool room. So my goal is to raise money to possibly support the Parndana CFS station to buy one. Any donation is appreciated. 

Once its all over, I would also like to provide a BBQ post-fire get together; CFS, local caterers, volunteers etc.

I will keep the page as up to date as I can. 

Australia is on fire. People are losing everything. Lets band together. Support where you can. Stay safe.



Rhyy Gaskin
Parndana SA

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