FIRE WARN­ING

Five blazes point to busy sea­son ahead, says RFS

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - FRONT PAGE - By ZOE MCMAUGH

Warmer weather sparked a busy week­end for ru­ral fire­fight­ers, fu­elling fears of a hec­tic sea­son.

Five ru­ral fires were re­ported across the week­end.

Mid Mur­ray Zone Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice zone man­ager Tony White­horn said one of the fires was an es­caped per­mit burn, while an­other is be­lieved to have been caused by a gas scare gun.

There was also a waste de­pot fire at Conargo and a trac­tor fire at Wom­boota.

The larger of the fires was the es­caped per­mit burn, which was on pri­vate prop­erty on Maws Rd, De­niliquin.

Mr White­horn said fire­fight­ers had to at­tend the prop­erty twice over two days to bring the blaze un­der con­trol.

‘‘We got the call just be­fore 6pm on Fri­day and three brigades re­sponded with five ap­pli­ances,’’ Mr White­horn said.

‘‘Fire­fight­ers were on scene for about three hours.

‘‘We were called back about 2.30pm Sat­ur­day when the fire rekin­dled.

‘‘On Fri­day, the burn area was about 60 hectares, which in­cluded 40 hectares of per­mit burn. On Sat­ur­day, a fur­ther 40 hectares was burned.’’

Mr White­horn said some fire­fight­ers were di­verted from Maws Rd to a fire at Bir­gan­bigil about 7.30pm Fri­day.

He said the blaze was spot­ted off Mayrung Rd by one of the zone’s deputy group cap­tains while he was head­ing to the Maws Rd fire.

‘‘Some of the fire­fight­ers who were stood down from Maws Road were then sent to Mayrung Road,’’ Mr White­horn said.

‘‘That fire’s cause is un­known and burned about three hectares of grass­land.’’

On Sun­day, fire­fight­ers were called to sep­a­rate fires at Den­imein and Burraboi.

The fire at Den­imein was started by a gas scare gun on a prop­erty on Nis­bet Rd about 1.10pm, ac­cord­ing to the RFS.

The Burraboi fire was on pri­vate prop­erty on Hol­land Lane and was ex­tin­guished by the land­holder be­fore fire­fight­ers ar­rived. It was re­ported about 1.50pm.

RFS fire­fight­ers were also called to a trac­tor fire at Wom­boota on Fri­day af­ter­noon, about 3.20pm.

Mr White­horn said due to ef­forts by the land­holder, the ma­chin­ery fire did not spread into nearby grass­land and tim­ber.

‘‘There was some nearby grass and tim­ber burned, but the land­holder cre­ated some good breaks around the burn­ing trac­tor,’’ Mr White­horn said.

‘‘The trac­tor was de­stroyed and fire­fight­ers were on scene for a few hours.’’

Mr White­horn said the week­end’s fire ac­tiv­ity was just an in­di­ca­tion of what is to come this fire sea­son, adding that vig­i­lance would be the key.

‘‘It is very dry and we’ve had a num­ber of fires al­ready,’’ he said.

‘‘We are ex­pect­ing to have a very busy sea­son.

‘‘We need ev­ery­one to ob­serve the reg­u­la­tions and con­di­tions of their per­mits burns. If any­one does need ad­vice, they can call In­spec­tor Doug Adam­son at the zone of­fice in De­niliquin on 5881 5351.

‘‘Peo­ple can also visit the New South Wales Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice web­site at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.

‘‘This year’s har­vest is also a big fo­cus and we en­cour­age those in­volved to fa­mil­iarise them­selves with the new har­vest safety alert sys­tem.

‘‘Grain har­vest guides, which give land­hold­ers tips on how to mea­sure weather pat­terns and de­ter­mine whether it is okay to har­vest, are also avail­able from the zone of­fice (in Junc­tion St, De­niliquin).’’

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