Cooi­nee fire still burn­ing

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

A fire be­lieved to have orig­i­nated from a tree struck by light­ning al­most two weeks ago is con­tained but ‘‘far from ex­tin­guished’’, ac­cord­ing to the NSW Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice Mid Mur­ray Zone.

Un­no­ticed, and there­fore un­re­ported, the tree fire spread to burn about two hectares of tim­bered area on Cooi­nee Woods Sta­tion be­tween Conargo and Jer­ilderie on Sun­day night.

NSW Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice Mid Mur­ray zone man­ager Tony White­horn said while fire­fight­ers re­sponded quickly to the call for help, ef­forts to fight the fire could not start un­til Mon­day morn­ing due to in­ac­ces­si­bil­ity.

Ef­forts to main­tain fire breaks us­ing bull­doz­ers were con­tin­u­ing yes­ter­day.

‘‘It is quite dif­fi­cult ter­rain out there, so fire­fight­ers first had to go in by foot to de­ter­mine what had to be done,’’ Mr White­horn said.

‘‘We or­gan­ised a bull­dozer overnight and (Mon­day) morn­ing we cut a path through so our trucks could get in.

‘‘Start­ing about 7.30pm (Sun­day), two units from the Conargo and Bolton Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice brigades re­sponded to the blaze.’’

When they re­turned to the prop­erty Mon­day, 10 fire­fight­ers were fight­ing the blaze with two ap­pli­ances. Two com­mand ve­hi­cles and staff we also there to pro­vide as­sis­tance.

Af­ter a full day, fire breaks were fi­nally in place but some were jeop­ar­dised overnight and had to be re­formed yes­ter­day.

While the fire con­tin­ues to burn, and will con­tinue to burn for com­ing days, the RFS said the chance of it spread­ing fur­ther is lim­ited.

Fire­fight­ers re­main on site to mon­i­tor the blaze.

While there lit­tle risk of light­ning storms in com­ing days, Mr White­horn said the in­ci­dent was a re­minder for ev­ery­one to be vig­i­lant.

Prop­erty own­ers are asked to mon­i­tor their prop­erty closely af­ter light­ning ac­tiv­ity and re­port any fire ac­tiv­ity im­me­di­ately by call­ing 000.

Mon­i­tor­ing is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant in dense tim­ber ar­eas.

Forty-five young­sters from the Mur­rumbidgee Coun­cil area were among 280 to at­tend the Port­sea Camp.

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