The slashing of grass along the railway line near Anderson Rd has not gone ahead in time for fire season this year, despite it being a known fire hazard.KATHLEEN TONINI January 4, 2013 4:23am
Grass along the railway line near Anderson Rd, which a local firefighter says is longer than when a devastating grassfire broke out in February, has been dismissed by V/Line as a low priority.
The February 23 fire (inset) burnt about 130 hectares.
It threatened houses and drew on the services of close to 80 firefighters.
The fire was believed to be sparked by a freight train passing through the area.
Echuca Village firefighter Brian Quinn, who was Echuca Village fire brigade captain at the time of the fire, feared what would happen if the grass was to ignite again.
‘‘If a train came along there and threw a spark we’d be in a far worse situation,’’ he said.
Temperatures are set to be in the high 30s and low 40s until Wednesday, prompting state-wide CFA warnings.
Mr Quinn said if a fire did break out again in the area, it would be more likely to threaten residential areas because of the increased fuel load.
‘‘I think anything we would throw at it locally would be insignificant to what mother nature would throw at us.’’
Mr Quinn said there had been no fuel reduction burn prior to summer as there had been before last season.
‘‘If you were going to do something it should have been done about in October, it’s too dangerous to do it now.’’
A V/Line spokesperson yesterday said the area could not be sprayed and slashed as it was within a ‘‘sensitive environmental area’’ but could be burnt off at the right time of year.
‘‘Working with the CFA and DSE we may be able to conduct a fuel burn, however following the fire last year it has been assessed this area is not a high priority,’’ the V/Line spokesperson said.
Mr Quinn believed whoever maintained the land around railway lines and those who maintained the trains themselves were both responsible when it came to fire risk.
‘‘It should be a combined responsibility when it comes to fire hazards,’’ he said.
Campaspe CFA operations officer John Cutting said he was aware the grass had grown back, but was concerned about grassfire risk across the whole shire.
‘‘That is one part of the shire where there is grassfire risk but there are others,’’ he said.
He said fuel reduction and burning off had been planned for autumn but nothing had been done prior to this summer.
Mr Cutting echoed Mr Quinn by saying it was not as simple as long, dry grass presenting a fire hazard.
‘‘It’s not just eliminating the fuel, it’s eliminating the risk of it starting,’’ he said.
He believed some maintenance of trains had occurred since last year’s fire.
P&O TransAustralia, who had a train in the area at the time of last year’s fire, did not respond to the Riverine Herald’s request for information about its internal investigation.
New fair in Mooroopna will show how to re-use and recycle.
Yarrawonga/Mulwala's largest ever professional golf event, the Shepparton BMW Senior Victorian Open, got underway today with 124 players hitting off from 8am to 1pm on Yarrawonga's Black Bull Golf Course at Silverwoods.
Tatura’s rainfall for the last three months of 2015, 116.6mm, was marginally down on the long-term average for the same period, 120.8mm.
MEDDLING mothers can cause plenty of grief when you’re young, especially when they get involved in your love life.
THE second annual Christmas town party in Lockington did not quite attract the crowd organisers were hoping for, but it failed to dampen their spirit.
Special supplement in this weeks edition
For Tocumwal’s Lynda Snowden, working the land hasn’t stopped her from falling in love with the majestic surrounds of her day to day life.
TOOLLEEN Recreation Reserve Committee of Management presented three awards on Australia Day in front of 80 local residents.
The NSW Government has recommended the Old Cobram Barooga Bridge be placed on the State Heritage register.
Deniliquin doctor Marion Magee says she is disgusted with the treatment of local nurses.
Federal Member for Murray Sharman Stone has been criticised by two Victorian MPs for suggesting the Federal Government should stop spending money on the $2 billion irrigation modernisation program until problems are sorted out.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.