Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Water supply essential during fire season

Rochester fire brigade is urging farmers to carry water tankers on the back of their tractors this fire season.

ELAINE COONEY January 14, 2014 4:10am

Rochester fire fighters Mick Hassell and Jarrod Kelly are urging farmers to carry water tanks on their tractors this fire season.

Rochester fire brigade is urging farmers to carry water tankers on the back of their tractors this fire season.

Fire brigade member Jarrod Kelly said most grassfire the brigade attended this summer were caused by slashers or headers.

He said most of the farmers co-operated throughout the fire danger period by avoiding slashing and harvesting during the hottest part of the day and kept such work to a minimum during days of total fire ban.

He said when farmers accidentally start fires in their paddocks and required the fire brigade they felt embarrassed.

Mr Kelly said although water tanks on tractors would not completely eliminate the fire risk, it could make the fire brigade’s job easier.

‘‘A nine litre tank will go a long way,” he said.

He said it sprayed water for 40 seconds once dispersed.

‘‘If the fire was 40m long and the farmer used the tank, we could be looking at a 20m fire front instead of a 40 by the time we get there,’’he said.

Mr Kelly said farmers should be aware that once a 000 call was passed to the fire brigade it could take four minutes for a crew to reach the station as well as the travel time so it was best to begin fighting the blaze to prevent it from spreading.

He said some farmers had incorrect fire extinguishers on their machinery.

‘‘The dry chemical is susceptible to blowing away in the wind so it’s not suitable for grassfires,’’ he said.

The fire brigade will be selling low cost nine litre tanks this week.

Orders can be made through Jarrod Kelly by calling 0407565388.

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