Eight fires tear through Tonny

March 09, 2018

Firefighters battle one of the blazes which ripped through the Tongala area.

INVESTIGATORS are trying to determine the cause of eight fires which ripped through the Tongala area yesterday.

About 25 CFA crews and 75 firefighters spent several hours battling the blazes from about 2pm, which threatened a home and some livestock.

CFA Campaspe Shire district 20 operations officer John Cutting said the fires burnt about 30 hectares of private land from John Allan Rd in Kyabram to west of Scobie Rd.

‘‘It’s destroyed grass and some fences, but there has been no damage to any structures,’’ Mr Cutting said.

‘‘One fire just west of Scobie Rd did threaten a house early on, but it didn’t suffer any damage as that was pounced on pretty quickly.

‘‘One paddock to the north-east of Scobie Rd corner had some livestock in it but the brigades have been able to isolate them to protect them as well.’’

Mr Cutting said when fire crews arrived, they had to prioritise which fires to put out first.

‘‘The first crews on scene attacked the ones closer to structures and then they worked on the other ones which just burnt a bit of grass,’’ he said

Mr Cutting said the largest fire, west of Scobie Rd, burnt through 15-20ha.

A fire investigator, as well as detectives from Echuca Criminal Investigation Unit, were on the scene to investigate the cause.

‘‘We’ve set up the Field Operations Vehicle to be the control point for all the fires and also to provide welfare for our crews, drinking water and that sort of stuff,’’ Mr Cutting said.

Vehicles from Forest Fire Management Victoria also attended, as well as police who helped divert traffic.

Although the Vic Emergency’s Watch and Act message went out advising people to leave the area, Mr Cutting said no-one had to be evacuated.

He also reminded people that the fire danger risk was still active and not to light fires.

‘‘People think summer is over, but there is still a risk of fire. The long weekend is also coming up and it’s going to be hotter than it is today so we need to make sure we take care,’’ he said.

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