IT HAD been a horrific week in Tasmania with heat (Hobart registering 41.8 degrees the highest ever on record) low humidity and high winds and over 50 fires burning out of control.
Among the worst affected have been properties in the Derwent Valley and also from Fawcett to the Tasman Peninsula as well as Bicheno on the East Coast.
With over 150 properties destroyed including most of the town of Dunalley, hundreds of people have been left homeless, even being evacuated off the beaches on the Peninsula by flotillas of small boats, fishing boats, and ferries and with refuge centres set up including the Hobart Town Hall, and others for animals set up in the Royal Showgrounds at Glenorchy.
All kudos to the emergency services, the fire fighters, (some coming from interstate) the police, and also to the truck drivers who have played a heroic role in providing logistics and also maintaining the supply of goods and stock feed, and moving essential fire fighting equipment to the various fires.We found Derek Triffett from Brighton at Denny Mechanics loading a Norske Skog 911 Benz fire truck, that had just undergone running repairs to go back to the fire front at the Repulse Dam, on his and Mary's 2009 T-908 with the 625 Cat up front and his Westward float, his rig tirelessly out there moving heavy equipment.
We also caught up with Black Hills farmer and owner/driver Scotty Williams with his Statewide Ag Services 1993 3600 S-Line who was taking a load of 37 rolls of lucerne hay from his own property to a stricken farmer in Dunalley.
Not content with that Scotty, who drove a log truck most of his life, is also going around his many clients organising more loads (including from his own property) to deliver for the long term, as it will be some time before any of the blackened fields will be able to support livestock. These two operators exemplify the spirit to be found down here, and full credit to the many people who have put up web sites to co-ordinate deliveries of fodder, and other resources from all over Tasmania, as well as some from the Mainland.
To all, concerned we at Big Rigs would like to say a huge "thank you."