Burn-off goes up in flames

CFA crews tackle a burn off fire in Devon Meadows. Picture: DEVON MEADOWS CFA

By Brendan Rees

Firefighters responded to an-authorised burn off in Devon Meadows on Wednesday 10 April.

CFA firefighters were called to the blaze, which covered an area of about 15 metres by 10 metres in size at the North Road property just after 5pm.

Six trucks from Pearcedale, Devon Meadows, and Cranbourne battled the fire which was contained about 6.45pm.

Devon Meadows fire brigade Captain Andrew Swain said the fire, believed to have been a pile of timber, was well alight when crews arrived at the rear of the property.

“When we turned into North Road we could actually see the flames over the top of the building,” he said.

“He must be on a few acres. It wasn’t going to go anywhere; a couple of his workers had hoses keeping a few things damp,” he said.

Mr Swain said the fire had been lit while fire restrictions were still in place.

“He must have some sort of demolition business. He brings a lot of his wood and all that home, and decided to light it up thinking the (fire) restrictions were off,” he said.

“Unfortunately we have been to this place before. He’s a bit of known one to us to burn off without really checking restrictions.”

Mr Swain said crews pulled apart the rubble to tackle the fire with the help of the owner’s tractor.

“You can put as much water on it as you like but to try and get into the seed of it, you need to pull it apart.”

Devon Meadows brigade were also called to burn-offs on the South Gippsland Highway in Cranbourne and Browns Road in Devon Meadows on the same evening.

Despite being April and cooler temperatures, Mr Swain reminded everyone that burn-offs were illegal during fire restrictions.

“That’s the trouble; you go to these places and the first thing they say is ‘well I didn’t know it was still on.’”

According to the Casey Council website, CFA declared the fire danger period would run until 1 May: “During this period, they restrict the use of fire in the community to stop bush fires from starting,” it said.

Anyone wishing to burn on their property during this period must apply for a fire permit with the CFA.

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