A FIRE which threatened homes near Nail Can Hill yesterday afternoon is being investigated by Albury police, after witnesses reported seeing two boys flee the scene.
The Rural Fire Service was inundated with calls from residents as a cloud of black smoke was visible from the other side of the border.
The fire caused another scare for Yambla Avenue residents who had a close shave on New Year’s Day when spot fires flared in backyards along two rows of houses, just a kilometre from Dean Street.
Worried residents in Yambla Avenue and Pemberton Street started to hose their grass and gutters down as the flames and embers headed towards homes.
“The last fire was closer to homes, but this is definitely a lot bigger,” said Pemberton Street resident Greg Crellin, who was watering down his front lawn and gutters.
“The embers are coming down and that’s the bit I don’t like.”
The fire broke out shortly after noon and came within 30 metres of houses.
Twenty tankers were called in from as far as Corowa as firefighters worked to put fire breaks in place.
Pemberton Street, between Mott Street and Roper Street, was closed and the fire was contained after two hours.
Albury Central fire station officer Simon Huggett said the fire moved quickly and was in hard-to-access terrain, burning more than 10 hectares.
Fire crews let the blaze burn right to the edge of the bush walking track, to prevent any possible future fires from taking hold in the same area.
One crew stayed overnight to monitor the site.
Acting Insp Paul Goodwin, of Albury police, confirmed the fire was suspicious.
“Once everything has cooled down police and the RFS will investigate,” he said.
“Witnesses saw two young boys in the vicinity. One was on a bike.
“We are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.”