Shed, home burn in fire

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS - ~ So­phie Burge

The South­ern Rive­rina News will con­tinue to re­port on lo­cal events and sto­ries dur­ing the Christ­mas and New Year pe­riod.

Pub­li­ca­tion days will be as per nor­mal, on Wed­nes­day, De­cem­ber 28 and Wed­nes­day, Jan­uary 4, but office hours and ad­ver­tis­ing book­ing dead­lines will vary.

The SRN office will be closed on De­cem­ber 26 and 27 and Mon­day, Jan­uary 2, how­ever Zoe McMaugh or Kacee John­ston can be con­tacted for edi­to­rial re­quests on De­cem­ber 27 and Jan­uary 2 on (03) 5881 2322.

Ad­ver­tis­ing dead­line for the De­cem­ber 28 and Jan­uary 4 edi­tions will be 5pm the pre­vi­ous Fri­day by con­tact­ing the SRN office on 5883 1033.

Clas­si­fied ad­ver­tis­ing for both edi­tions will be 10am the day be­fore and can be booked by con­tact­ing Lo­cal Classies on 1300 660 886 or email­ing ad­ver­[email protected]­cal­

Please note that Lo­cal Classies will only be op­er­at­ing from 9am to noon on pub­lic hol­i­days and lim­ited staff will be avail­able.

A shear­ing shed, an un­oc­cu­pied farm house and more than 2500 hectares of grass farm­land were con­sumed in an out of con­trol fire that burned at Corowa Rd, Oak­lands last Tues­day morn­ing.

Fanned by strong northerly winds, RFS Corowa Ber­ri­gan Group Cap­tain and strike team leader on the day, Greyd’n Davis, said the fire roared over 15 kilo­me­tres at about eight kilo­me­tres per hour.

It be­gan as a small hayshed fire at 9am, but quickly spread to burn 10 hectares ini­tially.

Twelve Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice units from the Corowa Ber­ri­gan zone were at­tended the scene.

Crews did some pre­ven­ta­tive work around the haystack that morn­ing, but the wind picked up and it only took a cou­ple of em­bers to see the fire spread even fur­ther.

Capt Davis said the large air tanker, known as ‘South­ern Belle’, was ac­ti­vated to help put out the ‘‘full on’’ fire.

‘‘A 50 year-old shear­ing shed went up in flames and the fire went within a me­tre of a nearby house,’’ he said.

‘‘An­other house also went up in flames and crews man­aged to save an­other shear­ing shed that caught alight, but some ma­chin­ery was lost.’’

Capt Davis said flames trav­elled around the north­ern end of Oak­lands, spar­ing the Oak­lands Cen­tral School, where staff and stu­dents were evac­u­ated.

‘‘It was very full on at that point,’’ Capt Davis said.

The fire then moved in a south-east di­rec­tion to­wards Fed­er­a­tion Way, north of Corowa Rd.

‘‘The in­ten­tion was to pre­vent the fire cross­ing Fed­er­a­tion Way which crews were suc­cess­ful at do­ing near the Oak­lands-Rand Rd,’’ Capt Davis said.

South­ern Bor­der RFS com­mu­nity safety of­fi­cer Pa­trick West­wood said the hard­work­ing crews pulled up the fire midafter­noon with the help of around 150 vol­un­teers and 60 trucks, plus 40,000 litres of wa­ter dropped from the South­ern Belle.

Mr West­wood said the blaze was a big ‘‘wake up call’’ as to how fast fire can travel.

‘‘This sum­mer we’re likely to see more dan­ger­ous to se­vere fire dan­ger days as we progress to March so peo­ple need to plan ahead if fire im­pacts their prop­erty,’’ Mr West­wood said.

‘‘It was very dis­ap­point­ing also to see peo­ple de­cid­ing to drive up to the fire while crews were work­ing.

‘‘Fires are not a place for peo­ple to go and visit and hav­ing them there is an un­ac­cept­able dan­ger to them­selves and our crews.’’

Alysha Knight and Chelsea Demp­ster topped the ATAR scores at Fin­ley High.

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