Country Fire Service warns about bushfire readiness after blazes at Swan Reach, Ashville, Punthari

Be prepared: Country Fire Service chief officer Greg Nettleton speaks at a function at Jervois in June. Photo: File.
Be prepared: Country Fire Service chief officer Greg Nettleton speaks at a function at Jervois in June. Photo: File.

Three fires over the weekend have highlighted the need for all Murraylands and Mallee residents to prepare for the danger season.

The biggest was at Swan Reach, where burning rubbish at a business caused smoke to drift across the Stott Highway.

A caller notified emergency services around 11.20am, but it took until 4.40pm for the Country Fire Service (CFS) to neutralise the blaze.

A grass fire was also reported on Masons Lookout Road at Ashville, north of Meningie, at 11am on Sunday.

The CFS advised the threat had passed about 40 minutes later.

A stubble fire near Ridley Road and Northern Boundary Road at Punthari, north of Mannum, caused some concern between about 4.20 and 5.20 on Friday afternoon.

Multiple Country Fire Service units mobilised, including an air support crew, but the farm fire units that attacked the blaze early were able to keep it from getting too far.

Only hours earlier, state Emergency Services Minister Chris Picton had issued a news release about a bushfire readiness campaign which began over the weekend, with the theme "complacency kills".

"When it comes to a bushfire there is often little time to think, but if you've already got a plan in place, you will be able to act," he said.

"Bushfire safety is a shared responsibility.

"Help us help you by being prepared so that we can all enjoy a safe summer."

CFS chief officer Greg Nettleton said people often waited too long to decide whether they would stay or leave their homes in a bushfire.

He and his Metropolitan Fire Service counterpart, Greg Crossman, both urged every family to plan ahead.

People need to plan early and know what they and their families will do.

Greg Nettleton

"Please don't underestimate the speed and power of bushfire," Mr Crossman said.

"Make your five-minute bushfire plan with your family and loved ones now, so that you'll know how to act and survive.

"Ensure that you consider places you work, visit, travel through and holiday in when you make your plan."

There will be two opportunities to learn more about bushfire readiness this weekend.

The CFS will host a workshop at Coonalpyn Hub at 7pm this Friday, and the Murray Bridge brigade will hold an open day at its Thomas Street station between 1pm and 4pm on Sunday.

The fire danger season will start on November 15 in the Murraylands and upper South East, and continue until April 15.


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