A FIRE in the backyard of a South Tamworth home was just one of a spate of fires that have kept firefighters busy, both in residential areas and out in rural areas, over the past few days.
An outdoor entertainment area was destroyed and a garden shed was damaged by the fire in Kinarra St, South Tamworth yesterday morning.
Smoke was seen coming from the rear of a home at about 9am and a crew from West Tamworth Fire and Rescue NSW attended and extinguished the fire.
There was no one home at the time and neighbours attempted to extinguish the fire, but could not save the outdoor area and items inside the garden shed were also destroyed.
Firefighters are investigating the cause, but believe it could have been caused by unattended ashes from a fireplace that were placed in a garden or spontaneous combustion of grass clippings that were in the garden.
Tamworth Fire and Rescue NSW were busy on Friday afternoon after an industrial dryer at Tamworth hospital caught alight.
Employees saw smoke coming from the front of the dryer at about 3pm on Friday and a crew from Tamworth FR NSW was called. Firefighter Phil Cox said the dryer malfunctioned and all the contents, 150 towels, caught alight.
He said the $200,000 machine suffered about $50,000 worth of damage in the fire and about 150 towels were destroyed.
There was also water damage to the area, which was cleaned up by the firefighters.
NSW Rural Fire Service crews continue to monitor a hazard reduction in Piallamore that was started on Friday.
As of yesterday, 520 hectares had been burned in the Martins Ln area as firefighters work to reduce the fire danger in the region.
Tamworth NSW RFS fire mitigation officer Barry Gehrig said the hazard reduction had gone well, but ran behind schedule due to the lack of moisture in the trees and brush.
“It took a bit longer to put the containment lines in,” he said.
“There will be smoke for a few days.”
He said this was one of the main hazard reductions planned for the Tamworth region and this was the first opportunity they had had to do it.
“The few little showers have been enough to prevent us from doing them. This one has been quite successful, but I’d be a bit cautious about doing anymore unless we get some more rain. We went ahead with this one, because it’s been so big and important. We will do the other smaller ones if we can,” he said.
Meanwhile, a NSW Rural Fire Service crew continues to monitor a fire on Pound Rd, Ebor that had burned 913 hectares as of yesterday.
New England Rural Fire Service Inspector Tim Butcher said the fire was being controlled and was burning in inaccessible country.
“There is a bit of active fire on the southern flank in forested country turning into grazing land and as it comes out we are extinguishing it,” he said.
The fire has been burning for a few days and started when a pile burn escaped.