Angle grinder sparks farm blaze

Five Colac district fire brigades worked on a caravan and structure fire at an Ombersley property north of Colac on Wednesday afternoon. Firefighters spent more than 30 minutes controlling the blaze.

A Country Fire Authority member is reminding people to have firefighting equipment on hand after crews attended two blazes within the Colac district on Wednesday.

Winchelsea, Birregurra and Wurdale brigades attended a fire at a Cape Otway Road property east of Birregurra at about 12.50pm after sparks from an angle grinder ignited grass.

Deans Marsh brigade first lieutenant Simon Mooney said a man was using the angle grinder on cattle yards and that there was no fire suppression equipment nearby.

“He had an angle grinder and no hose or fire extinguisher or anything; there was grass all around and it just took off,” he said.

Mr Mooney said about 25 firefighters turned out to fight the fire and that brigades had the blaze under control within 10 minutes.

“It was a very lucky save,” he said.

Mr Mooney said the fire was approaching a row of hay bales, which were lined under cypress trees, and that it was “lucky” firefighters prevented the bales from burning.

He said that if the bales did ignite, firefighters would have needed to monitor the site yesterday and today due to the region’s hot weather.

Mr Mooney said the fire also threatened a small structure.

He said people needed to be careful when using tools and machinery during fire season and make sure that fire suppression equipment including access to water or extinguishers were nearby.

“During the fire restriction period people have to be aware that restrictions are in for a reason and you have to have fire suppression stuff available even if it’s not on a total fire ban day,” he said.

“You must have fire suppression equipment immediately on hand and on a fire ban day you must not use that equipment full stop, you’re not allowed to use it.”

Regional brigades also attended a structural fire at Cressy Road, Ombersely, at about 12.40pm.

Winchelsea deputy group officer Bruce Shaw said the fire destroyed an unoccupied caravan which had a small structure attached to it.

He said the crews from Wingeel, Inverleigh, Weering, Beeac and Eurack worked on the blaze for more than 30 minutes.

For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.

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