Home' The Bunyip : January 7th 2015 Contents "THE BUNYIP" GAWLER, Wednesday, January 7, 2015 Page 3
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FLAMES confronted Humbug Scrub
residents Janette and Lewis Llewellyn
when they evacuated their home on
Despite receiving warnings from the
Country Fire Service on Friday afternoon,
Mrs Llewellyn said they decided to keep an
eye on the fire with their neighbours.
But hours later it became clear the fire
was travelling erratically.
"It was about quarter to 11 and sud-
denly that fire... seemed to go 'woosh'," Mrs
Packing their dogs into their motorhome,
the couple left with their neighbours just
as the CFS was doing home checks along
"We went to come out our normal way,
which is on to Kersbrook Road, got to the
top of Bassnet Road and it's all in flames,"
"The treetops were alight, all Kersbrook
Road was alight."
Using an alternative route, the couple
drove to the One Tree Hill town centre,
where they found reprieve among neigh-
bours and friends.
The couple, who live with Mr Llewellyn's
son Simon, his wife Dizi and their five-
year-old grandson Connor, were allowed to
access their Kestel Road home on Sunday
However, with no power and the still-
looming threat of fire, they chose to remain
in the town centre.
Like the Llewellyns, a number of residents
returned to their properties on Monday to
find they had no power or water, just a re-
frigerator of perished food.
An unofficial relief centre set up at the
One Tree Hill Institute by locals has offered
many of these residents respite, food, water
and a familiar face.
After evacuating their Humbug Scrub
property on Friday, Bernadette Guilfoyle
and her husband John opted to return to
the region, where they found assistance at
"My neighbours are all here, the people I
know are here and I feel comfortable here,"
"To me this was the best place to be."
The pair evacuated their property late
Friday afternoon, but Mrs Guilfoyle said "it
didn't really hit us until we came back."
"When we came back and we could smell
(the fire), we realised it was really bad," she
"At one stage we were told that our street
(was) surrounded by fire and we thought
that's it... it's gone.
"We both cried and then we decided if it's
gone, we'll rebuild."
Returning to her property on Monday,
Mrs Guilfoyle said she was relieved to find
the damage was limited to a charred drive-
But like many Humbug Scrub residents,
she said she understood the threat was still
The uncontrolled blaze on Saturday start-
ed heading towards Williamstown, with
many residents also evacuating their prop-
erties that day.
Resident and Williamstown Football
Club vice-president Alex Gill evacuated
his home with his wife Samantha and three
young children on Friday.
"There was mixed reports about how
close it actually was to Williamstown," he
"With the young kids we didn't want to
wait until the last minute."
Mr Gill, however, returned on Saturday
morning to start setting up a relief centre at
the Williamstown Football Club when the
township was asked to evacuate.
Mr Gill said a number of people, who
evacuated later that day, reported seeing
Williamstown resident Kristal Ruchs said
as they were leaving, between Lyndoch and
Gawler, ash was falling on Saturday night.
For many Williamstown residents, Sun-
day brought relief when the township was
taken off the emergency list and placed on
the watch and act list.
The ames that engulfed the Friday night sky, taken from South Terrace in Williamstown.
PHOTO: Kristal Ruchs
IT was the fire Anne and Colin
Dealtry have been anticipating,
for more than 30 years.
While their friends and neigh-
bours evacuated their homes on Fri-
day and Saturday when the Samp-
son Flat bushfire began to threaten
houses and lives across parts of the
Mount Lofty Ranges and Adelaide
Hills, the couple were preparing to
defend their property.
"We knew we were going to
stay," Anne said.
"We've been preparing for this
for a lot of years because we've got
our (native plant nursery) business
here as well."
Anne said they were well aware
of the bushfire risk when they pur-
chased the One Tree Hill property
and have been preparing for it
since they moved in.
"We've been slowly putting in
more and more concrete tanks
and firefighting pumps and gen-
erators," she said.
"You slowly keep building
all the time, you get ready for it
Thirty-four summers of prepa-
ration appear to have paid off
when The Bunyip spoke to Anne
Smoke in their faces and sting-
ing eyes, Anne and Colin worked
diligently over the weekend to
save three decades of hard work
The pair were kept on their toes,
dousing any wayward sparks that
landed in their yard before starting
the search for the next.
"It just slides into life from a
tiny little gum leaf, it just 'poofs'
like an explosion and it just takes
off very quickly," she said.
"We had hoses and sprinklers
everywhere and we were just dart-
ing from spot to spot.
"My husband was at one end
with fire hoses down near the na-
tional park side...I was up near the
house, stopping any little sparks
that were starting around the edge
of gardens or house or the car."
Over the back fence of their
Trevilla Road property, the Para
Wirra Recreation Park burned.
"There was wind and noise
first, then you could feel the heat
behind all the smoke," Anne
"There were flames all up and
down our back fence, which is
Para Wirra national park.
"Even through the night the
flames were still up and down all
"It was like fireworks going up
in trees, sparks flying out and like
a million little orange candles go-
Anne said on the ground, there
were black trunks and grey soot as
far as the eye could see.
Despite the persistent threat
and road closures preventing the
couple from leaving their home,
Anne said the pair remained calm
over the weekend.
"You're sort of expecting it, gear-
ing up, ready for it."
"If we weren't home, there
would have been an awful lot of
"I think being home and being
prepared saved the day."
Couple stay put, save home
Flames confront residents
PAGES 10 11
Five-year-old Connor Llewellyn with Cody
relax at the uno cial relief centre at the One
Tree Hill Institute. PHOTO: Natalie Vikhrov
In the line
Continued from page 1
Mr Hutchins said that number would increase
today, when temperatures and winds are expected
Residents in areas including One Tree Hill and
Humbug Scrub evacuated their homes on Friday
night, while many Williamstown locals were ad-
vised to leave on Saturday.
Road closures have been preventing people
from entering the fireground, but some residents
were given access to their homes by Monday.
Sections of Kersbrook, Bagshaw, Shillabeer,
South Para Road and Checker Hill Road were re-
opened to residents who had access to their prop-
erties from these roads on Monday.
Mr Hutchins urged those returning to their
homes to be careful with the fire still a threat to
homes in many areas, including Humbug Scrub.
Two official relief centres were set up at the
Willaston Football Club and Golden Grove Rec-
reation Centre on Saturday, with the community
rallying to supply the centres with food, water
The Gawler Sport and Community Centre was
on standby on Saturday, but was not needed, with
donated supplies redistributed to The Salvation
Army and the One Tree Hill staging area.
Service groups and local businesses took to so-
cial media over the weekend to offer their services
as well as free accommodation to those affected
by the fires.
But amid the generosity, authorities were alert-
ed of scammers doorknocking over the weekend
in the northern suburbs to collect cash donations
for the CFS.
Residents have been asked to report to the po-
lice any doorknockers claiming to be collecting
money for the CFS.
Meanwhile, the State Government will provide
emergency grants of up to $700 for those who
have been affected by the fires, as well as up to
two weeks of emergency accommodation.
The government on Sunday also activated the
SA Bushfire Recovery Hotline (1800 302 787) for
those who have lost their home, suffered trauma
or need to access services.
A picture of the large smoke plume from the
Sampson Flat re taken near Forreston.
PHOTO: Carl Pfei er
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