The horrors of the past week’s bushfires throughout rural New South Wales has prompted another firm warning for MIA and Riverina farmers from the RFS.
Farmers have been warned about the perils of operating machinery in blistering conditions after a series of fires were sparked in the last week.
A ride-on mower and a stubble mulcher were responsible for two separate fires in the Riverina on Friday, renewing calls for land-owners to exercise caution.
RFS Riverina operational officer Bradley Stewart said that while machinery-sparked blazes were commonplace in regional landscapes – more needs to be done to ensure safety.
“When farmers use this kind of machinery, all it takes is for a spark to catch a dry piece of grass and in seconds you can have a fire that is exceptionally hard to control,” he said.
“We’ve had a number of minor ignitions recently, caused from mowers, mulchers, angle grinders and stray bearings from motorbikes.
“People need to make sure their machines are regularly maintained and that they have a fire management plan in place.”
He added authorities had issued a number of formal warnings to farmers in recent weeks to help send the safety message.
“We’ve had a number of individuals in the wider community here, who for whatever reason, don’t understand the seriousness of the conditions and have lit fires.”
A staggering 94 bush and grass fires are currently burning across the state, with 13 of those deemed “out of control” by firefighters.
Seven of those fires are burning in the Murrumbidgee district.
It has also been revealed convoys of retired trucks and make-shift units made from utes have been deployed to assist in fighting fires across the region and the state.
Kim Anesbury knows all too well the devastating impact of fire after her asbestos-riddled Brucedale home was destroyed and she was left to fend for herself on the streets.
She said last month that it was the worst thing she had ever experienced.
“I had a large beautiful property I worked all my life to earn, and it was taken away,” she said.
“I lost all my clothes, my belongings, everything – but the hardest was being homeless and not having anybody consider me.”
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