CFA warns of more fire danger to come

ANOTHER grass fire near Ballarat at the weekend has renewed calls for people to be more vigilant at  a time of extreme fire danger.

A small grass fire at Waubra on Saturday burnt out about three hectares of land.

Although there were no homes under direct threat, the fact that another fire had started in the Ballarat region on a relatively cool day was a reason for concern, according to the CFA.

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The townships of Waubra, Glendaruel, Addington and Learmonth were all issued with warnings just after midday on Saturday, with the fast-moving fire described as being out of control.

At least 12 tankers brought the blaze under control within about an hour, but CFA district 15 operations manager Geoffrey Gray said the frequency of fires in the region showed the danger that could easily arise.

There have now been three relatively large grass fires in the Ballarat area in two weeks, with the Chepstowe fire burning more than 1300 hectares and destroying nine homes.

A fire at Blampied 10 days ago also saw three children treated for smoke inhalation and threatened to spread to nearby Daylesford.

“It just shows that we’ve got a long way to go,” said Mr Gray.

“It seems like it has been a long summer but it’s only early days. There are many fires burning across the state and there is probably going to be a lot more.”

Mr Gray said conditions were the most dangerous he had seen for some time.

“It’s not just bushfires this year – grass fires are as much of a threat,” he said.

“Everyone at this time of year should be very vigilant and know what is happening around them.”

Today is forecast to reach 31 degrees, and the fire threat is likely to be upgraded on Thursday, when the temperature is expected to reach 34 degrees.

patrick.nolan@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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