A getaway shed fires up countryside

A FIRE which erupted in a shed near Manilla has caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage with firefighters battling a number of blazes in a matter of hours.

The property owner noticed flames leaping from the shed off Bennetts Ln, between Attunga and Manilla, just before 6pm on Sunday and quickly alerted the RFS.

The shed was full of hay and machinery, but a crisis was averted when firefighters managed to stop a large fuel storage from catching alight.

“There was a 2000-litre tank of diesel but they managed to cool that down so it wasn’t an issue,” RFS Superintendent Allyn Purkiss said yesterday.

It took more than a dozen firefighters from the Manilla and Attunga brigades to bring the blaze under control, with crews still keeping watch on hot spots yesterday as the hay slowly burnt.

The owner managed to move some of the machinery out of the line of fire which may have been sparked by leaking lubricant.

Police were called to the scene but the blaze is not being treated as suspicious.

It was one of five callouts for local RFS crews in just three hours on Sunday as fires took hold in the warm weather.

A planned burn in Rapari Dr, off Back Kootingal Rd, escaped just after 2.30pm and threatened a handful of homes.

Superintendent Purkiss said crews from Tamworth, Kootingal and Piallamore attended the blaze which burnt out about two hectares. “The fuel loads were quite low when it came to the houses, but the guys got there reasonably quickly and finished it off,” he said.

Just 15 minutes later, a hot water system short-circuited and caught alight, spreading to the side of a Sandy Rd home at Kootingal, while a shed fire was called in on Appleby Lane after a landowner failed to notify authorities and neighbours, with another scare at a grassfire at Moore Creek.

Permits come into force on September 1 and it will be a requirement for everyone that lights a fire in the open to obtain a permit. 

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