Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Second suspicious grass fire near Deniliquin forest

Firefighters say they were very fortunate to stop a small fire from lighting up Deniliquin's bushland.

December 10, 2012 4:20am

A second grass fire in four days in the Packenham St area could have been disastrous, according to Deniliquin NSW Fire and Rescue.

Local firefighters reached the scene — at the south-east end of the Deniliquin golf course — at 7am Wednesday.

It was the same location as a fire on Sunday last week.

Station Commander Captain Bill Muirhead said they were ‘‘very, very fortunate’’.

Approximately 100m by 150m of grassland was burnt and the scene is being assessed by forensic police.

‘‘We were at the scene within five-and-a-half minutes, if we were a minute later it could have been all over,’’ Capt Muirhead said.

‘‘The fire was creeping up the levee bank. Over the levee is a forest filled with fuel for a fire, including dead wood, fallen branches and plenty of leaves.

‘‘The undergrowth, small trees and dead wood means the fire could’ve been potentially disastrous.’’

Capt Muirhead said the strong winds fanned the fire to be much larger than the one on Sunday.

He also said he suspected it had gone unnoticed for a longer period.

Deniliquin Council plans to cut the grass on top of the levee bank to create a firewall and stop fires from spreading to the forest.

Capt Muirhead is anticipating ‘‘a very bad summer ahead’’.

Fourteen firefighters and two appliances attended Wednesday’s fire. Rural Fire Service also assisted.


Capt Muirhead said he would like to remind people that we are in a ‘‘no burn’’ period.

During this time permits are not available for people to burn off.

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