Punt goes up in flames but not all of its history is lost
‘ Looking at the photos of the fire on Facebook I thought it would be just a pile of ash. I was pleasantly surprised in terms of ’ the (fire’s) impact
but finished assessing the condition of the punt before the fire.
Mr Booth inspected the damage on Wednesday morning and said even after the fire, it was likely plans to conserve the structural integrity of the punt would continue.
‘‘Looking at the photos of the fire on Facebook I thought it would be just a pile of ash,’’ he said.
‘‘I was pleasantly surprised in terms of the (fire’s) impact.’’
Mr Booth said he had spoken to Heritage Victoria and would work closely with them and the Barmah community moving forward.
‘‘Extra consideration will now be given to supporting the structure,’’ he said.
‘‘The punt deck was already in poor condition last week and now the fire has just exposed what people couldn’t see underneath.
Rostered duty officer for CFA District 22 Peter Bell said five brigades were called out to the punt fire on Wednesday at 5.59am but three were turned back.
‘‘At 6.17am we received a stop message so that’s how quick the Barmah crew got the fire under control,’’ Mr Bell said.
‘‘Nathalia attended with a thermal imaging camera to pick up any hot spots under the deck.’’
In a quirk of circumstance, the positioning of the punt determined whose authority the incident came under.
‘‘It was on the Victorian side of the river but it was above the high tide watermark so it’s a Victorian fire,’’ Mr Bell said.
‘‘If it was below the high tide watermark, it would have been a NSW fire.’’
Police are investigating the cause of the fire.
CONSERVATION PROJECT STILL POSSIBLE: Despite the quick actions of firefighters the Barmah punt was significantly damaged by fire on Wednesday.