Koondrook CFA help out interstate colleagues

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CFA crews from Koondrook and Murrabit worked side-by-side with their Rural Fire Service (RFS NSW) colleagues at an out of control burn off in Barham at around 6.30pm on 26 September.

Crews received an initial report of a fire on the Victorian side of the Murray River, however when firefighters arrived on scene, the fire could be seen across the river involving a gum tree on a private property.

A landowner was burning off general rubbish materials around the impacted tree in their backyard before the fire reached the lower hanging branches and climbed up the tree.

Koondrook Captain John Schulze contacted Barham RFS once they identified the location of the incident and ensured their crews were responding, but CFA crews also continued across the border to assist their colleagues on scene.

“The fire was illuminating from across the river – it had already climbed around three metres up a tall gum tree,” he said.

“We were first on scene and got started before Barham crews arrived and we worked together to extinguish the fire.

“Fortunately there was no wind that night and the tree had limited bush in close proximity to it so we were able to contain it to the gum tree and only around eight metres of grass was intended to be burnt, which was a good result.”

John said the brigade has an excellent relationship with it is cross-border neighbours, which always helps when both agencies find themselves working together on scene.

“Our members are familiar with many of the firefighters at Barham Fire Brigade and that always makes it easier to work with them at any kind of incident,” he said.

“We used to train together frequently pre-COVID and we take every opportunity to get together and help each other out when necessary.”

Firefighters were on scene for about two hours before it was safe to leave the scene.

/CFA News Release. View in full here.