Cool change calms Emu Flat flare concerns

Cooler weather has been welcomed this week as Clare was again on high alert last Thursday (February 8) with the reignition of the Emu Flat bushfire six days after the initial incident.

The Emu Flat bushfire has now been classified as controlled.

Thursday’s high risk fire conditions proved true to expectations, and an “ember attack” sparked by a smouldering tree is thought to have reignited the fire ground just north of the original ignition point on Benny’s Hill Road.

Two aerial water bombers and a spotting plane were quickly deployed from their Hoyleton base to assist crews who had remained constantly on the fire ground since the fire began on Friday of the previous week.

Two homes were under direct threat and a hay shed was burned, along with 6 hectares of land in difficult terrain.

With the fire burning in a southerly, easterly and northerly direction, Clare township was again under threat.

Horrocks Group Officer Anthony Salter said he believed careful preparation for the high fire risk conditions that were forecast for last Thursday and Friday enabled the outbreak to be brought under control quickly.

“The quick response was due to a lot of pre planning throughout the week, we knew Thursday was going to be a day of concern and everything was in place to deal with that,” he said.

“I think if that pre-planning wasn’t there the township would have been under greater threat.

“The fire was burning on three fronts, to the south, the east and the north, in the north it was burning in heavy scrub and in the east it was burning downside of the hill and was able to be contained a bit quicker.

“The crews that responded on Thursday did an absolutely amazing job and managed to protect two homes, unfortunately a hay shed was lost, but lives and homes were a main priority.”

Fire crews from across the state remained on-site throughout the weekend, with additional ground crews walking on foot through gullies to monitor hot
spots.

The fire has now been declared “reduced threat and incident controlled”, however the area will continue to be regularly patrolled and the CFS will be looking for any visible hot spots.

Mr Salter urged members of the public who noticed any hot spots to phone 000, and asked residents to remain vigilant.

This week’s cooler weather was a welcome relief for fire crews and residents who have been on high alert over the past week.

Read the full story in our online edition: http://plainsproducer.realviewdigital.com

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