News / Community / 10th December 2020
Sawmill fire raises a burning question
Seven fire-fighting units were called in to tackle a blaze at the Baradine Sawmill last week.
Rural Fire Service (RFS) Brigades from Baradine, Goorianawa and Yearinan, together with teams from National Parks and Wildlife Services and a loader from Forests NSW brought the blaze under control on Tuesday, 1 December.
The cause of the flare-up in a two-hectare sawdust dump at the closed sawmill is unknown, but spontaneous combustion is thought to be a possible cause.
“We don’t know how the fire started; there was a total fire ban,” Baradine RFS captain, Phil Hensby said.
“Rain earlier this year, then recent strong, gusty winds and severe heat fuelled conditions for the blaze to break out; the sawdust could have been smouldering for weeks.
“A firebreak was put in between the sawmill site and surrounding paddocks to reduce the likelihood of the fire spreading.”
RFS crews returned to the site the following day to carry out a control burn to reduce the high fuel load in surrounding paddocks.
“The sawdust dump is around four metres deep and the question of concern is that it could smoulder for months, so we will have to do regular checks on it for some considerable time,” Mr Hensby said.
“I would like to thank the support teams for their prompt assistance and Coonabarabran Fire Control for their help.”