Helicopters battle spot fires

April 04, 2018

Two water bombing helicopters and 20 CFA tankers worked to bring a blaze at Gillieston under control at midday yesterday.

Twenty Country Fire Authority tankers and two water bombing helicopters battled seven spot fires in Gillieston yesterday.

A 000 call was made to emergency services shortly before noon.

‘‘They were all small, nothing damaged and all in grass areas,’’ a CFA media spokesperson said.

The blazes spread along Byrneside-Gillieston Rd, north-west of Tatura, for hundreds of metres.

A CFA spokesperson said the blazes were brought under control about 12.59pm yesterday.

Shepparton police Sergeant Phil Semple said the blazes were believed to have been caused by a hay truck.

‘‘For whatever reason, the hay has gone up and bit by bit has caused some grassland to be engulfed in fire,’’ he said.

‘‘The fires have started up towards Lancaster Rd and headed south.’’

Sgt Semple said the fires were spread out and he believed it took some time for the truck driver to realise what was happening.

‘‘Sometimes bales are stacked too close, or it could’ve been a mechanical issue,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s pretty random. It doesn’t happen all that often and we don’t really know exactly why. It’s just unlucky but luckily everyone is all right.’’

An emergency watch and act message was put out on the Vic Emergency website.

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