CFA warns Trawalla bushfire will not be last

THE CFA has warned residents that yesterday’s bushfire just south of Trawalla will not be the last, as the region prepares for more searing temperatures in coming days. 

Large plumes of black smoke could be seen in the area as the fire tore through a blue gum plantation drawing in multiple water-bombing aircraft to help fight the blaze. 

The fire, which was 300 hectares in size, was a warning message to residents, according to CFA operations manager Chris Eagle.

“It is hot, it is dry, be careful," he said.

"It is not a matter of if the next fire will start, it is when the next fire starts.

“Over the next few days, we will have other fires across the state and we urge people right across the state to be careful.” 

While no homes were damaged in yesterday’s blaze, Mr Eagle said three homes were close to the plantation. 

An emergency warning was announced for residents in the area late in the afternoon, however it was quickly downgraded as the fire was brought closer to being under control.

CFA officials said the fire was contained last night.

Both police and CFA officials at the scene said they believed the fire started as the result of a piece of agricultural equipment working in a paddock. 

“We are not 100 per cent sure what, but there was farming activities and there was nothing else in the area so that is what we are putting it down to,” Mr Eagle said.

He said there was a variety of farming equipment working in the area where the fire started, including tractors and other vehicles. 

The plumes of smoke could be seen in the backyard of Brenton Haupt and Fiona Monk’s home. 

Mr Haupt said he heard about the fire on his way from work.

“As I was coming home, I could see the smoke and I said, ‘I hope it's not near my house’,” he said. 

“It looked pretty nasty and I saw all the police cars and the firies blocking the road and I thought it could be pretty bad.”

Farmer Gordon Powell said the fire was quite fierce early on. 

However, Mr Powell said it had been well-fought with the use of water-bombing aircraft.

“They are great machines nowadays, especially for us farmers,” he said. 

“Everyone is very cautious. Everything is dry, very, very dry.”

Mr Powell’s son owns a property close to where the fire was burning yesterday. 

“The wind is a big factor but I think they have done a great job of stopping this, especially in the plantation,” he said. 

“It doesn’t take much to start a fire but it takes a hell of a lot to put it out.” 

Residents are reminded that today has been declared a day of total fire ban.

matthew.dixon@fairfaxmedia.com.au

The story CFA warns Trawalla bushfire will not be last first appeared on The Courier.

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