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September 28, 2021

Bushfire near Main Arm under control

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Julie Ray surveys the damage to the property adjacent to her house in Main Arm. Photo Jeff Dawson
Julie Ray surveys the damage to the property adjacent to her house in Main Arm. Photo Jeff Dawson

A fire that broke out on Coopers Lane, Main Arm on Monday afternoon has been brought under control after burning out four hectares of land, according to the Rural Fire Service (RFS). No properties were destroyed despite its close proximity to an MO.

Julie Ray, a local resident, told Echonetdaily she believes the fire which burnt out more than four hectares was the result of an unattended campfire.

She added the path of the bushfire seemed to confirm this.

Ms Ray, who works at The Echo, said she received a call at the office  on Monday afternoon and raced home to retrieve her pets and belongings.

‘By the time I arrived I couldn’t get up the driveway because of all the fire trucks parked everywhere, and all I could see was smoke and flames,’ she told Echonetdaily.

‘It came so close that it burnt a palm tree just metres from the corner of the house.

‘Our neighbour saved the house by holding the fire back with our garden hose while the fireys were cutting a path to get their large trucks up our driveway.

‘Firefighters managed to stop the fight just short of our driveway, otherwise the house would’ve been destroyed.

‘If it had jumped the driveway and caught into the grass on the other side of it, there are another three houses that would have gone up,’ Ms Ray said.

An RFS spokesperson said it was a ‘close call’ but that ‘a great effort’ by  volunteer firefighters got on top of the blaze fairly quickly.

Matt Inwood told ABC radio this morning, ‘we had 11 trucks out there yesterday within 40 minutes and the firefighters were working on that fire very quickly. The report I got last night from our commander on the ground was “I’m not sure how they did it in these conditions but [the firefighters] did a fantastic job”.’

Mr Inwood said it was a reminder to landholders to have a fire plan, keep long grass and timber from around their homes and make sure access roads were adequate for large firefighting equipment if necessary.

Photos Jeff Dawson

[Original story: Monday December 1, 3.20pm] Crews are at the scene of a bushfire burning near properties in the vicinity of Coopers Lane, Main Arm, west of Mullumbimby.

The fire is burning in steep country. Firefighters are situated at three properties, ready to provide protection if required. The fire is not directly threatening those homes at this time. Take the advice of crews at the scene.

Ten trucks and one aircraft are working on this fire. The fire is currently at Advice.

Residents are requested to stay away from Coopers Lane at this time as the road is being used by fire trucks to access the fireground.

Only call Triple Zero (000) if you see an unattended fire. At this time, we ask residents, if possible, to refrain from calling the Byron Fire Control Centre for updates.

Residents are requested to enact their Bush Fire Survival Plan. Nearby residents should clear their property and make preparations, as outlined in their plan. If you do not have a plan, know what you will do if the fire impacts your property.

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