Nail Can Hill draws more fire bugs

ALBURY firefighters patrolling the scene of Sunday’s large bushfire on Albury’s Nail Can Hill were yesterday called to two more deliberately lit blazes in the area.

A small fire was reported at 11.50am in bushland off Pemberton Street.

It had burnt only a few square metres by the time it was extinguished — a far cry from the 30 hectares destroyed on Sunday near Jacaranda Street.

A second small-sized blaze was later reported at 4.20pm near Ridge Trail.

Albury RFS Insp Marg Wehner said it was believed all the fires were deliberately lit.

“There is no other explanation,” she said.

“They were small because we had crews there and they got them before they had a chance to take hold. It could have been a lot worse.”

A woman, 55, has been charged with starting Sunday’s bushfire, which is believed to have wrecked her car.

About 80 RFS and 20 NSW Fire and Rescue personal fought the blaze for three hours blaze in 30 degree heat.

Some of them spent yesterday back at the scene, ensuring there was no flare-up.

Lavington RFS captain Bruce Barnes said back-burning had secured most of the area.

“The weather’s been kind to us,” he said.

“A lot was burnt overnight so we’re looking pretty good.”

Captain Barnes said crews had concentrated on the hill’s eastern side which was inaccessible to trucks, making it “very hard work”.

Ms Wehner said that despite the back-burning, there was still a risk of embers reigniting the area in hot weather.

“There’s always that risk with a fire like this — because of the timber, the embers get into the roots,” she said.

“But we’re not expecting any wind which is usually our biggest problem.”

Ms Wehner urged walkers and cyclists to avoid the immediate area of the fire because there was also a risk of branches falling from burnt trees.

The temperature is expected to climb to 35 degrees tomorrow before dropping to the high 20s and low 30s for the rest of the week.

But Ms Wehner said the slightly cooler temperatures were no reason to relax.

“We are still on high alert through this week so people need to remain vigilant,” she said.

Meanwhile, at Yackandandah, nine CFA crews yesterday took just under an hour to extinguish a five hectare grassfire on the Yackandandah-Myrtleford road, near Andrews Lane.

The fire caused no injuries and there was no threat to property.

The cause of the blaze, reported just after 3pm, is not yet known.

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