Farmer's slashed paddock helps firefighters with spot fires

BE PREPARED: Macadamia farmer Greg Bennett on the tractor he used to help the Rural Fire Service put out spot fires.
BE PREPARED: Macadamia farmer Greg Bennett on the tractor he used to help the Rural Fire Service put out spot fires. Samantha Elley

A RECENTLY slashed paddock helped fire fighters control a fire near Nimbin two weeks ago.

A bushfire that burnt out a small area along Tuntable Creek and Rose roads was dangerously near to the property of macadamia farmer and Lismore councillor Greg Bennett.

He had cleared his top paddock of overgrown grass a month ago and RFS Operations Officer Daniel Ainsworth said this had been a great help.

"Otherwise we would have been fighting (the fire) further along towards Nimbin," Mr Ainsworth said.

"Such a well prepared property helped the firefighters prevent further spread of the fire."

As temperatures soar and rainfall grows more scarce, Mr Ainsworth encouraged farmers to be more bushfire aware around their properties.

"Basically, if farmers can make sure their boundaries are slashed and fire breaks are in place, it will allow firefighters to use them when fighting fires," he said.

Static water supplies were also a great source of help for firefighters.

Mr Ainsworth encouraged farmers to clearly label areas on their property that could be used in times of emergency.

"They can get a label or sign post with 'SWS' on it, that can be displayed on their property," he said.

"We then plot that information in the office, so we know if there is a fire in that area, we have a water source."

Static water sources include swimming pools, dams, water tanks or any other water supply.

"It wouldn't take much to take the orchard," Mr Bennett said.

"That's why I was slashing the top paddocks a month ago.

"I am just happy my orchard is still here.

"My house is still here and other people's houses are still here.

"And no one was hurt."

Topics:  bushfire, grass fires, macadamia, rural fire service

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