Rain brings both relief and new threats for fireys
GREEN growth across the Valley from recent rain is a welcome sight, but firefighters warn the new life could create new hazards.
Recent rainfall has been a welcome relief for the region’s fire crews, but Rural Fire Service West Moreton area director, Acting Inspector Paul Storrs warned it could cause problems in the future.
“The key for us will be that this rain has added fuel,” Insp Storrs said.
“So during the off-season we’re going to have to very carefully and clearly identify our priorities for risk management, and targeting that when the right opportunities arrive.”
He warned the new growth could even pose a threat in the coming weeks and months if dry conditions returned.
“The season is certainly not finished and depending on how quickly it dries out and what weather we have coming through, the grass that is now growing could potentially become fuel very quickly,” he said.
As grasses begin to regrow, Ins Storrs warned now was the time for landholders to begin planning to manage their properties during the off-season, ahead of the next fire season.
Despite the potential dangers, the rain has been a welcome change, reducing the fire risk in the region for the time being.
“The rain has helped — it has reduced (the fire threat) to a circumstance where we were able to hand it back to our local brigades and local fire wardens to mange issues locally,” Insp Storrs said.
The wet weather has also allayed fears the Glen Rock National Park fire could flare up again.
The fire has been smouldering since a lighting strike sparked the blaze in September last year.
Burning in difficult terrain, it flared twice during the height of the fire danger last year, threatening multiple communities.
At the time, firefighters warned it would continue to burn until heavy rain arrived or it ran out of fuel.
Thankfully, it appears the former has now taken place.
“They have had some really good rain up there, which has made us feel much more comfortable,” Insp Storrs said.
But fireys are taking nothing for granted and are continuing to monitor the area for hot spots, which haven’t been detected for nearly a month.
“I would hesitate to say the fire is out, what I would say is we’re at the best place we’ve been since the beginning of that fire,” Insp Storrs said.