[First filed: Nov 21, 2009 @ 9:47]
I was at work in Fyshwick today when we saw the fire just as it had started, as grey smoke was billowing into the sky and starting to spread out with the wind, as we watched the smoke thickened and started to blacken and a toxic smell was in the air that left a foul taste in your mouth. We saw 2 helicopters water bombing the fire at its height, when the smoke was a thick black pall, looked very toxic.
I was heading home shortly anyway and by the time I left work about 20-30 minutes later there was bumper to bumper traffic along the street I work on as the traffic was being diverted around, an entire section of Newcastle street being closed off, as well as the entire length of Barrier street.
(slideshow and more below)
I walked out via the route past bunnings out to Canberra avenue, and as I got up to Newcastle street itself within sight of the DFO building I could see traffic was absolutely packed and already choking up Canberra avenue as the traffic was pouring out of Fyshwick.
It looked like they had evacuated most of the suburb, as I was walking out I noticed some cars still heading in, and as I got to Canberra avenue the police were just in the process of actually blocking off all incoming traffic from Canberra avenue as well as the new road into the area east of the DFO, and I heard from other people the fire had apparently jupmed the road and the police were evacuating the entire suburb now.
Traffic was so packed along Canberra avenue I realised there was no point waiting for a bus, thankfully the very first person I tried to flag down stopped and gave me a lift most of the way back to Queanbeyan. It was pleasing in a situation like that even someone driving what looked to me like an expensive 2 seat sports car would stop and pick someone up.