Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Ute sparks flames near Tatura

A fire broke out on a Tatura district farmer's property last night after his ute caught fire.

KAITLIN THALS January 9, 2013 4:50am

Country Fire Authority personnel pour water on the scorched grass at a fire near Tatura last night.

Fire broke out on a Tatura district farmer’s property last night when his ute caught fire while there were gusty south-westerly winds.

Country Fire Authority Rodney group officer Phil Slender said CFA was notified of the blaze on the corner of Pogue and Bayunga Rds south of Tatura about 6.45pm.

A cattle farmer had turned around and noticed his utility had ‘‘flared up’’ in the middle of a paddock.

Mr Slender said when they arrived on scene strong winds forced the fire to spread across 20ha, calling on 10 tankers for assistance.

Smoke smothered the area as the sun set in the distance, making visibility difficult.

Mr Slender said the farmer’s vehicle was completely burnt out yet CFA personnel managed to stop the blaze spreading to about 100 head of nearby cattle. CFA crews contained the fire in about one hour managing to block it off at the channel, protecting surrounding properties, homes and livestock.

CFA personnel spent about three hours blacking out the area to ensure all embers were extinguished.

‘‘The weather conditions made it (the fire) flare up and it travelled fairly fast, lucky we stopped it at the channel otherwise it might have gotten away and across the road,’’ Mr Slender said.

‘‘The terrain is long and very rough, it’s been pretty hard on us trying to hang on. There are a few tufts of grass out there and there’s still so much heat in them.

‘‘Everyone just needs to be careful.’’

Mooroopna and Tatura police blocked traffic at Bayunga and Pogue Rds and Murton and Pogue Rds for about four hours.

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