Learmonth fire sparks warning from CFA

WITH a total fire ban declared for the central district today, the Country Fire Authority reminds everyone, particularly farmers, to be vigilant and ensure their work practices do not potentially cause a fire. 

CFA regional controller for the Grampians Phil Beasley said those on the land should only be doing absolutely necessary work when the weather was extremely hot. 

“If work can be put off until the cooler part of the day, it’s import that it is,” Mr Beasley said. 

“You shoudn’t be carrying out paddock operations in the hottest part of the day.”

He said no one should be mowing or slashing long grass until after substantial rain. 

He said the hay fire at Learmonth on Friday was an example of how easy a fire could start.

“It began when a tractor exhaust came into contact with a haystack.”

He said crews were continuing to patrol and monitor the area for any hot spots that could re-ignite. 

“Farm machinery needs to be checked regularly, cleaned and cleared of dust,” he said. 

He said although January was now over, it was not the end of summer or fire danger. 

“And we’re not getting any relief in the form of rain.” He said all fuels were dry, so fires could ignite very easily.