Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Residents are warned not to let guard down

Firefighters warning people not to let guard down despite the cooler weather change.

DARREN LINTON January 9, 2013 6:25am

Currawa CFA Captain Paul Trater

The forecast temperature today might be a relatively mild 24°C, but the Country Fire Authority is warning residents not to let their guard down.

The region made it through yesterday’s total fire ban virtually unscathed.

A shed fire near Strathbogie, a small bushfire on the Cooma Track 6km north of Mooroopna and a blaze that burnt a farm paddock near Tatura were the only significant incidents.

‘‘We’ve been lucky all week,’’ CFA district 22 incident controller Trevor Logan said.

However, he said the cooler temperature today would have little effect if a fire started.

‘‘Certainly, the temperature has dropped, yes, but the humidity is about the same and we will still have south-westerly winds and grass that is completely dried out,’’ he said.

‘‘The temperature doesn’t change the fire behaviour much at all.’’

The respite from the heat and the fire danger won’t last long, with the temperature forecast to nudge 40°C again by the end of the week.

‘‘Friday is looking like a bad day again,’’ Mr Logan said.

Yesterday, Currawa CFA Captain Paul Trater never strayed far from his fire station.

‘‘On days like this I usually go straight up to the shed and make sure the truck is ready to go,’’ he said.

The brigade at Dookie College has a dozen full-time members and about 20 people who can be called on.

On days of total fire ban the members are organised into strike teams in advance and are ready to go.

‘‘It is just being alert all the time about what is going on in your area,’’ Mr Trater said.

‘‘It is dry as here with plenty of grass and winds getting up in the afternoon are a problem.’’

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