Houses saved in Yendon fire scare

PHOTOS: The Yendon fire

A GRASS fire at Yendon rapidly turned into a dramatic battle yesterday to save several houses.

The blaze burnt through 20 hectares and damaged a house and shed before it was brought under control by 130 firefighters at 5.30pm.

Ryans Road resident Georgie Ryan said her family was grateful to the fire crews who arrived on the scene after their shearing shed caught alight.

Their paddock was burnt but no stock was lost.

“There were so many fire trucks so it must have been spreading very fast at the other end,” she said.

“Dad was down at the shearing shed and it got pretty close to a house near there.” 

Incident controller Steve Hodgetts said a small shed was destroyed on the Dunnstown-Yendon Road and a house escaped with smoke and flame damage to part of its exterior, after coming under threat.

“The house itself is structurally sound,” he said.

Meanwhile, another two houses on the Yendon-Egerton Road were within metres of the flames.

District 15 operations officer Archie Conroy said good work by firefighters and prevention work by the property owners had resulted in the houses being saved.

The grass fire eventually ran into a green crop paddock, he said.

“It’s stayed the head of the fire so the firefighters could get on top of it,” he said.

Investigators believe an electric fence may have started the blaze, but the cause was still being confirmed last night.

Yendon resident Jack Ryan said his house was out of harm’s way but the town was thick with smoke and helicopters circled the skies.

“They got it under control pretty swift,” he said.

The fire started at 4.15pm somewhere inside Ryans Road and the end of the Dunnstown-Yendon Road and within 15 minutes it was listed as medium and fast-moving and travelling in a south-easterly direction.

With the support of a firefighting air crane, ground crews reacted quickly to the out-of-control blaze, which was creating spot fires about one to two kilometres ahead.

The CFA issued a Watch and Act warning and said campers in the Lal Lal-Bungal Dam reservoir area, along with the communities of Yendon, Lal Lal and Mount Egerton, needed to enact their fire plans and remain vigilant.

Crews remained on site last night to ensure the fire was wrapped up properly.

Mr Conroy said yesterday’s fire emergency was a reminder to not become complacent.

“We’ve got the worst month of fires to come,” he said.

rachel.afflick@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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