Fires ignite

November 09, 2017

Fire crews at the scene of the Goulburn Valley Hwy fire at Arcadia, which had spread across the road.

The fire started just after 1pm at the beginning of the dual carriageway on the GV Hwy.

Fire crews at the scene of the Goulburn Valley Hwy fire at Arcadia, which had spread across the road.

A series of small fires rolled across the Goulburn Valley yesterday, many fuelled by dry terrain as summer approaches.

Five grassfires ignited across strips of land at Arcadia, Nagambie, Cooma, Congupna and Echuca, with the causes behind each fire still undetermined by investigators.

The first fire ignited at the beginning of the dual carriageway on the Goulburn Valley Hwy at Arcadia. It was reported just after 1pm and took half an hour for fire crews to control.

Both sides of the grassy highway were fully involved during the fire, resulting in a low visibility as smoke filled the air.

District 22 duty officer John Leben said the Arcadia fire was brought under control by five tankers, with police on standby.

‘‘This fire remains undetermined, but over the last week we’ve had a number start due to the bearings on trucks being struck, so the metal has come off and started fires,’’ Mr Leben said.

‘‘Sometimes we are unable to find a cause for certain fires, but it’s generally a result of heat being generated, whether that’s a car or truck causing those hot embers paired with higher temperatures.’’

Only half an hour later, Cooma’s Kilmartin Rd attracted crews to the scene of a grassfire, caused by a burn-off which had become uncontrollable.

That fire was followed by incidents at Nagambie, Echuca and Congupna after 3pm.

A railway line fire at Nagambie was put under control within 10 minutes, and scrub fires at Congupna were placed under control within one hour.

Although now under control, the fire burning at Echuca West had threatened a hayshed on a property off the Echuca-Mitiamo Rd.

Mr Leben said there have been plenty of out-of-control burn-offs, which sparked a timely warning for people to keep an eye on their patch.

The region is now heading into fire season, and although temperatures are beginning to rise, Mr Leben said low winds had not been a cause for concern.

‘‘What we really need is for people to think about what they’re doing, so making sure they have the best equipment and ensuring they let us know that they’re conducting a burn-off; that way we don’t turn up to fires that are out of control,’’ he said.

The light winds have been favourable for the start of the fire season, despite conditions being dry.

‘‘These temperatures are okay at the moment; what we don’t want is a range of temperatures paired with low humidity or high winds,’’ Mr Leben said.

‘‘These fires are usual in the lead-in to fire season, it’s an indication that fuels are dry and they will burn so people need to be aware of that.’’

The News understands District 22 CFA will release a confirmed fire danger period in the next week, expected to impact in December.

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