Walkers Point cane farmer Nathan Doyle with the remains of 500 bales of cane mulch that went up in smoke.
Walkers Point cane farmer Nathan Doyle with the remains of 500 bales of cane mulch that went up in smoke. Alistair Brightman

FIRE WARNING: Smallest spark could be all it takes

EVEN the smallest spark could start a huge fire.

That's what firefighters want people across the region to remember as a strict fire ban remains in place.

Crews have had to fight a multitude of fires over the past few weeks as hot, dry weather combines with strong winds.

This week, crews were called to battle blazes at Dundowran and Owanyilla.

Aldershot Rural Fire Brigade First Officer Craig Smith said the message was pretty clear: "Don't set fire to anything".

Mr Smith said people should not use slashers, lawnmowers, grinders, welders or any piece of equipment that could throw a spark.

"All we are asking the public is to keep an eye on the area and don't set fire to anything," he said.

A week ago, a stray spark caused an estimated $40,000 worth of damage after a fire started at a cane farm at Walkers Point.

Cane farmer Darryl Doyle now faces the difficult process of restoring the Granville cane field, which started after a spark caused by maintenance work ignited.

Mr Doyle said about 500 cane bales were destroyed, along with eight tyres on an irrigator and up to 15 acres of his field.

Combined with the lack of rain, he said it was a tough blow to take.

"It's pretty grim, with the price of cane and trying to get planting and get returns," Mr Doyle said.

"It doesn't give you much incentive to keep you going."

A fire at Torquay last week caused damage to a fence.

The fire started in a vacant block of land at the corner of Urangan St and Honiton St.

Station officer Scott Castree said when crews arrived there was a fire extending to the fence line of a nearby property.

"This is one of many fires across the state," Mr Castree said.



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