Unreported lightning fire spreads into timber stand

February 07, 2018

An unreported and unnoticed tree fire worsened and spread to burn about two hectares of timbered area on a local property on Sunday night.

It was discovered on Cooinee Woods Station between Conargo and Jerilderie. NSW Rural Fire Service Mid Murray zone manager Tony Whitehorn said the initial tree fire is believed to have been started by a lightning storm which passed through the region about 10 days ago.

Mr Whitehorn said while firefighters responded quickly to the call for help, efforts to fight the fire could not start until yesterday morning due to inaccessibility.

‘‘It is quite difficult terrain out there, so firefighters first had to go in by foot to determine what had to be done.

‘‘We organised a bulldozer overnight and (Monday) morning we cut a path through so our trucks could get in.

‘‘Starting about 7.30pm (Sunday), two units from the Conargo and Bolton Rural Fire Service brigades responded to the blaze.’’

When they returned to the property yesterday 10 firefighters were fighting the blaze with two appliances. Two command vehicles and staff we also there to provide assistance.

As the Pastoral Times went to print, efforts to fully contain the blaze were continuing.

Still using a bulldozer, breaks and containment lines were being developed.

While there is no risks of lightning storms in coming days, Mr Whitehorn said the incident was a reminder for everyone to be vigilant.

Property owners are asked to monitor their property closely after lightning activity and report any fire activity immediately by calling 000.

Monitoring is particularly important in dense timber areas.

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