Warmer weather sparked a busy weekend for rural firefighters, fuelling fears of a hectic season.
Five rural fires were reported across the weekend.
Mid Murray Zone Rural Fire Service zone manager Tony Whitehorn said one of the fires was an escaped permit burn, while another is believed to have been caused by a gas scare gun.
There was also a waste depot fire at Conargo and a tractor fire at Womboota.
The larger of the fires was the escaped permit burn, which was on private property on Maws Rd, Deniliquin.
Mr Whitehorn said firefighters had to attend the property twice over two days to bring the blaze under control.
‘‘We got the call just before 6pm on Friday and three brigades responded with five appliances,’’ Mr Whitehorn said.
‘‘Firefighters were on scene for about three hours.
‘‘We were called back about 2.30pm Saturday when the fire rekindled.
‘‘On Friday, the burn area was about 60 hectares, which included 40 hectares of permit burn. On Saturday, a further 40 hectares was burned.’’
Mr Whitehorn said some firefighters were diverted from Maws Rd to a fire at Birganbigil about 7.30pm Friday.
He said the blaze was spotted off Mayrung Rd by one of the zone’s deputy group captains while he was heading to the Maws Rd fire.
‘‘Some of the firefighters who were stood down from Maws Road were then sent to Mayrung Road,’’ Mr Whitehorn said.
‘‘That fire’s cause is unknown and burned about three hectares of grassland.’’
On Sunday, firefighters were called to separate fires at Denimein and Burraboi.
The fire at Denimein was started by a gas scare gun on a property on Nisbet Rd about 1.10pm, according to the RFS.
The Burraboi fire was on private property on Holland Lane and was extinguished by the landholder before firefighters arrived. It was reported about 1.50pm.
RFS firefighters were also called to a tractor fire at Womboota on Friday afternoon, about 3.20pm.
Mr Whitehorn said due to efforts by the landholder, the machinery fire did not spread into nearby grassland and timber.
‘‘There was some nearby grass and timber burned, but the landholder created some good breaks around the burning tractor,’’ Mr Whitehorn said.
‘‘The tractor was destroyed and firefighters were on scene for a few hours.’’
Mr Whitehorn said the weekend’s fire activity was just an indication of what is to come this fire season, adding that vigilance would be the key.
‘‘It is very dry and we’ve had a number of fires already,’’ he said.
‘‘We are expecting to have a very busy season.
‘‘We need everyone to observe the regulations and conditions of their permits burns. If anyone does need advice, they can call Inspector Doug Adamson at the zone office in Deniliquin on 58815351.
‘‘People can also visit the New South Wales Rural Fire Service website at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.
‘‘This year’s harvest is also a big focus and we encourage those involved to familiarise themselves with the new harvest safety alert system.
‘‘Grain harvest guides, which give landholders tips on how to measure weather patterns and determine whether it is okay to harvest, are also available from the zone office (in Junction St, Deniliquin).’’