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CFA urges care after fire flurry

Kyabram and district CFA brigades are calling on residents to be careful and vigilant following a spate of fires.

January 9, 2013 4:24am

A helitak was called in to drop two loads of water on the grass fire which burnt 18 ha of land at Timmering on Sunday evening.


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District CFA brigades are calling on all residents to be careful and vigilant following a varied spate of fires since the start of 2013.

With very high temperatures and dry and breezy conditions expected to continue all residents are asked to avoid any actions which could spark a fire.

An incident near the intersection of Curr and Everard Rds south of Tongala in the early hours of yesterday morning is being investigated by the Police Criminal Investigations Unit at Echuca.

Three fire crews were called to a small grass fire at 1.38am and the remains of two suspected incendiary devices were located at the scene.

A grass fire on Sunday evening at Gray Rd, Timmering, about 16km west of Kyabram, is believed to have been started by a fallen power line.

The fire, which burnt about 18ha of land, required the attention of 19 fire trucks, including crews from Tongala, Stanhope, Girgarre and Kyabram, two helicopters, including a helitak aerial firefighter, plus additional council and private vehicles to assist with creating fire breaks.

Tongala CFA captain Dave Wright, whose crew was one of the first on site, said the fire had burnt a long narrow stretch of land between Gray and Everard Rds.

‘‘We were able to keep the fire on the western side of the channel. Crews manned shifts through Sunday night and Monday morning until the site was declared safe at 3pm on Monday,’’ Mr Wright said.

Kyabram CFA attended a structural fire at a property in Bolitho Rd, Kyabram on New Year’s Day.

It is believed the fire was caused by a short circuit in an air conditioning unit. A neighbour raised the alarm and had managed to put the fire out when the CFA arrived.

The fire caused damage to a verandah, rainwater tank and a gas meter, and an area of garden was also burnt.

A grass fire at Wyuna on January 3 was started while a paddock was being slashed.

CFA chief officer Euan Ferguson said there had been a number of fires sparked by machinery in paddocks during harvesting or by people conducting burn-offs on private land.

Mr Ferguson said anyone who has conducted a burn-off in the past month should check it again to make sure it is extinguished properly.

‘‘With a gust of strong wind, they can flare up and quickly turn into a fast moving fire,’’ he said.

‘‘If you are conducting farm work such as harvesting, make sure you always carry an extinguisher or knapsack and, where possible, complete the work early in the morning.’’

During the Christmas period, Victorian fire crews attended about 20 fires started by campfires.

Fire authorities are concerned people are still not listening to warnings about having campfires and using machinery during hot, dry weather.

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