Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Glenrowan fire reminder to farmers

Farmers are reminded to carry firefighting equipment when working machinery following a grassfire at Glenrowan.

KAITLIN THALS December 18, 2013 4:20am

Farmers are reminded to carry firefighting equipment when using heavy machinery following a 20ha grassfire at Glenrowan last Wednesday.

Country Fire Authority District 23 operations manager Paul Horton said the fire, which sparked about 1.25pm, could have been stopped in its early stages had there been fire extinguishing equipment on board the farming machinery.

Mr Horton said the blaze was located in hilly terrain on Glenrowan-Moyhu Rd, near Hume Fwy, making it difficult for about 100 CFA personnel to access.

He said Department of Environment and Primary Industries firefighters were also in attendance, and two water helicopters were called on, with only one being utilised.

Mr Horton said a watch-and-act warning was sent out to residents due to the blaze threating Glenrowan Quarry and the town centre, however there were no evacuations and the fire was contained by 3.15pm.

Mr Horton said the crews remained on scene until about 10.30pm blacking out the area.

He said CFA members came from brigades across the region and from as far as Whitfield.

Victoria Police members set up temporary road diversions around the scene, until it was safe for motorists to return.

‘‘It wasn’t too windy and by large we weren’t too concerned about that, however the grass conditions means that we don’t need bad weather to have a grassfire,’’ Mr Horton said.

‘‘People must be caferful and mindful when using heavy machinery, to minimise their chance of fire.’’

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