Helen and Bill Ryley are encouraging people to be cautious when carrying out slashing or harvesting after a fire came within metres of thier Avenel home.JENNA BISHOP December 18, 2013 10:44am
An Avenel couple are warning people to be extra cautious this fire season after a grass fire nearly destroyed their home two weeks ago.
The fire burned more than 8
Mrs Ryley said despite not being a fire ban day, conditions were as bad as during the devastating Black Saturday fires, especially because of the high levels of fuel.
‘‘We’re in the danger period and there’s a lot of fuel around the paddocks,’’ she said.
Mrs Ryley said the fire’s heat was so intense, it damaged many new and established trees lining the driveway, turning the green leaves brown and brittle.
Mrs Ryley said green grass around the house helped deter the fire from coming any closer but despite fire breaks being in place in the paddocks, it wasn’t enough to stop the fire.
Mrs Ryley said without the quick thinking and actions of neighbours and fellow farmers along the road, the story might have ended differently.
‘‘Without their help — they were the first on scene before the Country Fire Authority arrived — we would have lost our house,’’ she said.
One neighbour helped move about 40 head of cattle into a nearby safe paddock before returning to the fire to help out.
A special tank full of water helped defend the home.
‘‘In summer, we’ve always got that full of water and ready,’’ she said.
Mrs Ryley said the couple saw smoke while driving back from Nagambie after picking up their car.
‘‘We were thinking, ‘please don’t let it be our farm’ and of course, it was,’’ she said.
Mrs Ryley praised the actions of the attending CFA brigades from Longwood, Locksley, Nagambie, Wirrate and Avenel and the Nagambie police.
Mrs Ryley said she believed the fire may have been sparked by slashing on a nearby property, although the CFA has not yet determined the official cause of the fire.
She said although it was not an official fire ban day, the conditions made it a dangerous fire day.
A Bureau of Meteorology report from the day of the fire said at 3
The grass fire at Rangeview serves as a timely reminder for extra caution when slashing grass and using equipment after several fires across Victoria were sparked by headers in December.
CFA chief officer Euan Ferguson said while harvesting could still go ahead during the fire danger period, it was important for people to monitor the weather conditions and carefully check equipment.
‘‘The most important thing you can do is take regular breaks to clear out grass, sticks and seeds that become caught in airflow vents, stone guards and bash plates. It’s also important to regularly look behind you and know when to shut your machinery down — hot exhausts can easily start fires as can sparks when machinery hits stones,’’ he said.
‘‘Safety should be your first priority. Extinguishers with the required 9
Mr Ferguson said the CFA encouraged farmers to use on-site weather reading instruments to continually monitor conditions, including air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and gust strength.
A multimillion-dollar redevelopment of one of Shepparton’s central business districts has resulted in an influx of new customers and increased trade.
More than 2200 people have signed up to show their support for a campaign to have the green route chosen for the new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
Echuca United and Moama will play for the 3Jacks trophy at Echuca South Oval today.
Painter Ben Winspear and Scott Wileman will create new works as the public look on during the at Rochester Art Exhibition.
Kyabram Bombers have the chance to beat Rochester under light for the first time this Friday evening.
Lions star recruit had a tough introduction to the GVFL.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
Heathcote's Union Hotel is continuing its record of fundraising for the Royal Children's Hospital.
Cobram skate park hosts skateboarding and music for youth week.
Senior state minister Adrian Piccoli reaquainted himself with Deniliquin yesterday, leaving Deniliquin Counil hopeful it has an ally in him.
With his blue eyes and snow-coloured coat, Nanneella horse Sinatra has looks worthy of a fairytale.
Fourteen-year-old Benalla girl Jaimee Linke will launch her debut novel next month.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
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.