Push for fire breaks ahead of bushfire season

Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Services will be enforcing fire breaks on rural properties ahead of the bushfire season.

The announcement comes following a fire which almost engulfed a home at a rural property on Ross Highway and Heenan Road on Sunday, Northern Territory Police say.

Initial investigations indicate the fire began on the road verge, but windy conditions and high fuel loads saw it quickly spread into the rural property.

Acting Senior Station Officer Alice Springs and NTFRS Hazard Abatement Officer, Paul Rubie said the owners were incredibly lucky their home and surrounding structures wasn’t engulfed by the fire.

“Another five minutes and they would have lost everything,” said A/SSO Rubie

“The owners are extremely lucky that a family member was home at the time and called the job in, otherwise it would be a different story.

“It was hot and windy on Sunday and with recent rains, we’re seeing high fuel loads and a lot of potential for small fires to become big problems.”

“Unfortunately the property owner did not have a fire break in place, which would have stopped the fire spreading into the property.

“Not having a fire break also makes it all the more difficult for fire crews to battle fires on large rural properties and fight any flames threatening the home.”

Fire crews successfully extinguished the fire before any damage could be done to the home or surrounding buildings.

NTFRS will be enforcing fire breaks on rural properties in Alice Springs and failure to comply with installing and maintaining a fire break will result in an infringement notice and a victim levy fine, totalling $660.

“It’s the property owners’ legislative requirements to have a minimum four meter fire break, which consists of either bare earth or grass slashed to less than 50mm,” said A/SSO Rubie

“And not having a fire break may render your property uninsured due to not following your legislated requirement as a property owner.”

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