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Port Fairy machinery shed fire
Port Fairy pagers started buzzing around lunch time last Saturday, alerting members to a structure fire about 3km out of town.
It wasn’t long after the brigade’s response that pagers sounded again for surrounding brigades to assist.
The farm owner had parked his tractor in a nearby shed during his lunch break and shortly after noticed the fire.
First fire fighters on scene were confronted with a fully involved machinery shed fire, housing a variety of hazards including the tractor and a 600 litre diesel fuel vessel.
Attending District 5 Operations Officer Henry Barton said strong winds on the day quickly caused the fire to spread to a nearby hay shed, igniting about 130 round hay bales and some 30 cypress trees that bordered the sheds.
“At the height of the fire fight, the ignited cypress trees caused spot fires, adding further risk to fire
spread,” he said.
A total of 10 tankers, an ultra-light tanker and quick fill trailer from brigades within Belfast, Macarthur
and Merri Groups were utilised during the fire fight.
“An excavator was also brought in to clear the cypress trees, allowing better access and to spread out the bales of hay,” Mr Barton added.
Until recent rains arrived, brigades in the South West had responded to some 20 fire calls in the space of 48 hours. CFA Operations personnel in District 5 had been warning the public that conditions were still too dry for burning off, even though fire restrictions were no longer in force.
“We need to wait for significant rain and allow the grass to green up,” said Mr Barton.
For now, at least, it appears that much needed rain has arrived for many towns in the area.