Planes, bulldozers, fire trucks work to contain blaze

PLANES, bulldozers and fire trucks are working in sweltering heat to contain a blaze north of Grafton while fire crews struggle to make landholders follow common sense advice.

Rural firefighting teams across the region have just been told their fleets will soon be bolstered with new vehicles.

It was welcome news, but Northern Rivers zone manager Superintendent Michael Brett said the biggest issues at the moment were man-made.

"We had an issue with a landholder yesterday who lit up a series of piles on his property," he said.

"We had to put them out because there's a total fire ban, and he had a visit from the police.

"I suspect he will see some fines down the track."

Aircraft based in Casino have been monitoring a fire started by a lightning strike about 40km north of Grafton in Banyabba Nature Reserve on Saturday.

The fire has left the national park and entered private property near a pine reserve.

Supt Brett said there was no immediate threat to lives or structures.

"We're working alongside national park crews with machinery, bulldozers and earthmovers to put in containment lines," he said.

"The problem is that it will be a big fire to contain and it's burning in remote country.

"These fires consume a great deal of resources."

Those resources are few and far between, with crews frequently called to put out fires that could have been avoided.

"We have zero tolerance towards ignorance and complacency in the community," Supt Brett said.

"We don't want to do it, but we have to start making examples of people.

"Because ultimately, someone will light a fire that will leave their property, run onto other properties and threaten lives and assets.

"I would hate to see someone suffer the consequences." 

GROWING RURAL FLEETS

LISMORE

Northern Rivers

- two new trucks

- two general vehicles

Northern Tablelands

- four new trucks

- one second-hand truck

Far North Coast

- two new trucks

GRAFTON

Clarence Valley

- one new truck

COFFS HARBOUR

Mid North Coast

- three new trucks

- five general vehicles

-APN NEWSDESK


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