AS SEVERE fire danger conditions keep emergency services on high alert today, a dangerous act of vandalism has left Haddon Country Fire Authority volunteers without vital firefighting equipment.
Haddon brigade captain Graeme Morris said volunteers arrived at the shed yesterday morning to find a bullet hole in the front door.
The bullet, most likely fired from a high-powered rifle, had also penetrated their firefighting trailer, damaging important equipment inside.
“They were in total disbelief and shock that someone would be stupid enough to do that,” Mr Morris said.
“It adds to our workload this time of year when you’re already busy with wildfire possibilities and you’re having to make repairs.”
Mr Morris said a generator, a positive pressure ventilation fan and floodlighting were all damaged, and this would affect the brigade’s ability to fight structure fires.
He said today had been declared a day of total fire ban, but Haddon volunteers would be stretched more than usual, with extra hours spent on the repair works.
Smythesdale Leading Senior Constable Craig Grenfell said more than $2500 damage was caused by a single shot, possibly from a high-powered .30 calibre rifle.
“The community fund-raised for that trailer and the equipment that’s in it,” he said.
“The CFA are a great organisation. They are there to help the community and people are doing irresponsible acts like this.”
Senior Constable Grenfell said it was fortunate the brigade’s fire truck was not also hit by the bullet, given the dangerous fire conditions currently confronting the region.
“A tanker would have been damaged and out of circulation this time of year, when all CFA units need to be available,” he said.
“If there was damage caused to the truck and it’s out of service, they’re not able to respond.”
Senior Constable Grenfell said the shed was located in a populous area across the road from Haddon Primary School and surrounded by houses.
The fact that somebody was shooting a gun in close proximity to homes and a school was particularly concerning. I’m pretty sure most community members would be horrified,” he said.”
Anyone with details can call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or Police on 5342 8524.