Local News

Bega Valley farmers wake up to "fire inferno" coming toward them


Property owners at Wandella, west of Cobargo, woke up to a fast-moving grass fire threatening their homes before dawn this morning. 

A fifth generation Bega Valley cattle-farming family at Wandella, west of Cobargo,woke up to a "fire inferno" coming toward their home and a cottage on their property before dawn this morning.

Their house and the cottage, which is inhabited by an elderly lady, were directly threatened by the fire.

The fire burnt through the farmers' 121 hectare property, destroying the grass, which was feed for their cattle.

The homes were saved thanks to a combined effort from fire crews, the owners and neighbours. A number of other homes in the area were also threatened by the grass fire.

Neigbour, Lisa Maree Harrington, says the glow of the fire woke her husband before dawn.

"About 4 o'clock this morning, my husband woke up and saw the glow through the bedroom window, and woke me up. My husband rang 000 while I rang the neighbours - they had only just woken up to it all themselves and they were pretty frantic. We both jumped out of bed and straight up the road to where the fires were. The fire started from an old tree that had fallen down hit a power line and it was sparking on a barbed wire fence."

 The Rural Fire Service says containment lines are around the fire, and back burning has been done to keep the fire from moving eastward, at this stage it's been downgraded from being controlled, to patrol. 

Meanwhile RFS Incident Controller, John Cullen has issued a plea to South Coast residents to take care with fire, with the Wandella fire the worst, but not the only fire agencies have been called to over the last few days. He says fire can spread quickly with the gusty conditions and drought conditions along the South Coast.