Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Jerilderie's fire flare fright

Firebombing aircraft were needed to help keep the Moonbria Rd fire under control on Friday. Predictions the hot and windy weather would cause the fire to reignite were realised when the mercury soared to more than 40°C and wind speeds exceeded 60km/h.

January 25, 2013 4:15am

The strong winds caused some existing burning timber to flare up, which threatened the ‘Wononga’ homestead.

Mid Murray Zone Rural Fire Service manager Superintendent Lindsay Lashbrook said, however, it was quickly brought back under control.

‘‘We still have some occasional hot spots and, because the fire is in sandy hill country, we will continue to have hot spots for some time unless we get a decent rain.

‘‘On Friday, we did have a bit of an issue with timber along the Yanco Creek opposite Wononga flaring up.

‘‘Winds activated the fire into unburned timber and embers were activated and were flying around the homestead.

‘‘We got some tankers in there to protect the home.’’

Supt Lashbrook said because the southern side of the creek is ‘‘so ratty’’, there were some isolated areas which had not burned to date.

He said the newly burned area was minimal, but said since the fire started on monday, January 7, about 3760 hectares of grassland has burned.

Following Friday’s flare-up, firebombers and heavy plant dozers were sent back in to the Moonbria Rd fire to re-establish containment lines.

National Parks and Wildlife Service crews were also on hand on Saturday afternoon and Sunday to do some ‘‘tidying’’ with hand held tools.

Firefighters continue their efforts at the Moonbria Rd fire this week, with mainly local crews monitoring the situation.

‘‘It’s not completely out yet,’’ Supt Lashbrook said.

‘‘We’ve got patrols out there.’’

While parts re-ignited, Supt Lashbrook said the situation was brought back ‘‘under control’’ and said timber will continue to smoulder for about another week.

The Moonbria Rd fire was started by lightning on the property ‘Euroka’ three weeks ago and burned through a number of properties, including ‘Wononga’ and ‘Somerset Merino Stud’.

Livestock was lost, but there was no significant structural damage resulting from the fast-moving and ferocious blaze.

More than 130 firefighters from across the region were fighting the fire at its peak, working around-the-clock.

Relief crews were also needed to be sent from Victoria after local firefighters tried to tackle the fire for a solid week.

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