Farmer thanks firefighters after Glenormiston South blaze

Smouldering: Glenormiston South dairy farmer Frank O'Bryan attending to the remnants of a grass fire that damaged his family property. Picture: Morgan Hancock
Smouldering: Glenormiston South dairy farmer Frank O'Bryan attending to the remnants of a grass fire that damaged his family property. Picture: Morgan Hancock

Sparked by power lines

Police believe an electrical fault involving power lines sparked Saturday's fire at Glenormiston, while Powercor says a bird may have also been involved.

Detective Sergeant Andy Raven, of the Warrnambool police crime investigation unit, said investigations had been carried out and were now completed.

The fire, on land bordered by Glenormiston Road, Wallaces Lane and Castle Carey Road, started about 3pm Saturday and burnt about 31 hectares of land, an unoccupied house and a hay shed containing hundreds of bales.

A Powercor spokeswoman said its investigation was still underway.

“At this stage it appears as if a bird came into contact with an electrical asset resulting in the fire,” she said.

“We will continue to work closely with fire services to confirm the exact cause of the fire as part of our ongoing investigations.”

Thanks and well-wishes as clean-up begins

Dairy farmer Frank O’Bryan is still counting the cost of a grass fire that swept through his family property at Glenormiston South on Saturday afternoon.

The blaze burnt an unoccupied house, 31-hectares of land and a shed containing hundreds of silage rolls and hay bales estimated to be worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Mr O’Bryan wants to thank Country Fire Authority (CFA) crews for their response to the fire, which ignited just minutes before a cool change brought winds up to 90 km/h through the area.

“It’s a little bit inconvenient, but there was no loss of major assets or injury to people or loss of livestock,” Mr O’Bryan said. “The efforts and the organisation of the CFA are fantastic and it was an amazing response time to have the helicopters here and the other observation aircraft.

“We’re very grateful for the support and the well-wishes of the local community and neighbours.”

Mr O’Bryan said he noticed the fire just before 3pm on Saturday, a day which saw a maximum temperature of 43.2 recorded in Terang.

“I was entering up the dairy driveway and it just caught my eye that over on Wallaces Lane there were flames leaping up,” he said.

“You ask yourself whether it was your side of the road or the other side of the road, for a start.”

The farmer worked out it was on his property as he called 000. CFA crews from Noorat, Terang and Boorcan arrived within minutes.

More than 20 CFA crews and multiple aircraft fought the fire, containing it in “very difficult” circumstances.

As the crews battled the fire after the cool change, Mr O’Bryan said there was nothing he could do due to the height of the flames.

“At that time the fire had started to move along Glenormiston Road on the roadside and then it started to move into our paddock,” he said. “It was really only a small grass fire, but the wind was changing direction and when the wind change fully hit from the south the situation changed and the fire flared up from quite high.”


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