Timmering mother describes scenes during code red day

By Alex Gretgrix

A TIMMERING woman has described what she saw as she made her way past the fire to pick up her children from school in Rochester.

Timmering local Helen Ingram, who lives on a neighbouring property to the blaze, has taken action and has been reporting her sightings and information.

"I received a text from one of my kids to say the school (Rochester High School) is in lockdown, so I'm just on my way to pick them up," she said.

Despite not seeing a lot from her own home, as she drove through to Rochester to retrieve her children, it was obvious the fire wouldn't be contained anytime soon.

"It's just so hot and blowing a gale, the wind is crazy," she said.

"It's just a bit hazy and the visibility isn't too bad, but I can't imagine it will get better."

As Helen neared the turn off to Nanneella and closer to Rochester, she knew she was right.

"It's starting to get difficult to see now," she said.

"I can smell smoke coming through the car."

Despite being questioned on why she would go pick her children up, she knew it was the best decision.

"I was asked 'why go get them when you're close to the fire?', but hopefully it shouldn't come too close to my property," she said.

"I've heard the warnings over the radio, but nothing that has me extremely worried for our safety.

"My mother, who's older than 90 and lives in Rochester, recieved a phone call from the fire brigade to see if she was okay."

And the locals aren't going down without a fight.

"I spoke to my brother earlier and he said he was getting ready. He said a lot of farmers were getting their machinery out and were about to start creating a fire barrier ahead of the blaze," she said.