Welding fire sends 40 hectares up in smoke: RFS


 A fire that scorched land and could have threatened property at Dubbo was started by the use of a welder, authorities say.

View the Daily Liberal story


The blaze that began on Curries Road late yesterday morning burnt about 40 hectares in the Minore area, its smoke visible from the city's centre.

It took about nine tankers and 35 firefighters about an hour to bring it under control, NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Orana team manager Lyndon Wieland said.

After repeated warnings in past weeks of the volatile conditions in the area, Superintendent Wieland reported yesterday's fire was started by human activity.

"Unfortunately a fire that could have threatened property was started by someone welding," he said.

"We were able to stop the fire before it impacted, but if we'd been 15 minutes later, there's a chance it may have impacted property."

The RFS will have further talks with the person who operated the welder, the superintendent said.

"People don't realise how vulnerable they are to litigation, to recover any damage to property" he said.

Emergency services attended the scene after receiving numerous reports of a fire.

One of triple-zero calls came from Kim Goldsmith, a resident of the area, who said she put her fire plan into action.

Bags left packed for an emergency and the dogs were bundled into the car, but despite her preparation she said it had a physical impact on her.

"My heart was literally pounding out of my chest," she said.

"It was just too close for comfort.

"(The land) is so ready to go up, we were lucky and it's a huge warning to everyone that we've got to be more vigilant."