A DUBBO man who thought it was a bright idea to mow in the heat of the afternoon during a statewide total fire ban caused a blaze that threatened homes and drew on valuable resources.
The man, whose actions were not considered malicious by authorities, received a stern word but escaped charges after potential disaster was averted at Mugga Hill on Friday.
As crews yesterday continued to patrol the Thornwood Road area, NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Orana team manager Lyndon Wieland pleaded with the community not to repeat the folly.
Superintendent Wieland warned that a cool change forecast to arrive by today would not undo the effects of the past week’s run of scorching temperatures and the landscape was ready to ignite.
An unwise decision had caused it to do just that on Friday.
The “pretty serious fire” had come close to several properties a number of times, Superintendent Wieland said.
“We responded with 10 RFS tankers, two Fire and Rescue NSW tankers and one fixed-wing bomber,” he said.
“The fire was quickly brought under control by those resources. Unfortunately the fire was started by someone using a mower at 4pm. We appeal to people not to mow in the heat of the day, and, in fact, to ask themselves if they have to (at all).”
In the face of the grim reality of the Orana region’s weather conditions, which the RFS judged “some of the worst in NSW” the team has left nothing to chance with its preparation.
“Here on standby at the Orana Fire Control Centre we have 16 Fire and Rescue NSW personnel in four tankers, four fire-fighting fixed-wing bombers and one helicopter,” Superintendent Wieland said.
“We’re ready for rapid response to anything that happens in the area.”
Orana crews had fought on average three fires a day since mid-December to the middle of last week, but their leader reported he had been able to rest personnel before the weekend.
“They are fighting fit and ready to go again,” Superintendent Wieland said.