Fire Season From Hell… It’s Only Just Begun

With the worst fire season in history across the country, farmers and homeowners are realising that preparation is vital.

One company, Australian Pump Industries, moved into high gear not just to dramatically increase shipments, but to also to pull engines forwards from the world’s biggest engine companies. “We were able to get Yanmar diesels and Honda petrol engines just in time,” said Aussie Pumps, Chief Engineer, John Hales.

Deirdre Lucas, Volunteer Fire Fighter of the Christmas Hills Brigade, working on a prescribed burn before the fire season strikes.

With farmers and homeowners rush to equip themselves with firefighting protection equipment, fire pumps and hose kits are in urgent need. Some of the Aussie Pumps key dealers keep running out of stock, particularly in areas around the periphery of major capital cities and regional centres.

Dealers report an influx of tired and often useless third world fire pumps being shipped in for repair.

“Why would you waste valuable labour at $60 an hour fixing a $250 pump?” said one Aussie Pump dealer. “The best place for those pumps is on EBay or as part of a recycling program,” she said.

Fire Fighting Authorities have warned this is going to be a catastrophic fire season.

CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACT

There’s no doubt that the drought has had a severe impact on terrible fire season conditions. The amount of moisture stress in trees and scrub has led to huge amounts of material that is tinder dry and ready to burn.

The Aussie Pump team has rushed to print thousands of more copies of their Bushfire Survival Guide to help people living in endangered areas. “We tell people to either equip properly to fight the fire, that means the right equipment and the right preparation, or get ready to leave,” said Hales. “We don’t encourage people to be brave enough to fight a bushfire in their backyard just because they have a pump set up and a small tank of water,” he said. “The right equipment and adequate water is essential.”

DIESEL’S ARE SAFER

Aussie Pumps are rushing to get more diesel engine drive units into the production program. Building diesel drive pumps is now a priority as many home owners have decided to make the investment of a diesel because of the low volatility of the fuel. The company says diesel is safer, although engines are heavier and more expensive than petrol drives. “If it’s the matter of saving a few bucks or eliminating a very real risk, it can be an easy decision to make,” said Hales.

The diesel drive pumps are all fitted with automatic decompression making them easy to start, unlike the old single cylinder clangers of the last century. Electric start is also an option, making starting the pump just a matter of turning the key.

“The NPWS mobile units use the Aussie Fire Chief pumps fitted with Yanmar 4.8Hp diesel engines with electric start,” said Hales. “Tried and true in firefighting, they have done a terrific service over the last 20 years!” he said.

“Be prepared, buy the right kit the first time and don’t be sucked into cheap third world products that may not perform or do the job required,” Hales comments. “We hear horror stories of third world pumps that simply don’t work, don’t prime or won’t start. Many of those pumps are just replicas, they are only designed to be sold,” he said.

For more information on Aussie’s comprehensive fire pump line up… click here

To download the Aussie Bushfire Survival Guide… click here