Grass fire licks fuel terminal walls

Grass fire licks fuel terminal walls

14 December 2006

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Australia — A grass fire near the West Gate Freeway came close to a Mobilfuel terminal today in Melbourne’s inner west.

Mobil’s emergency response team assisted the Metropolitan Fire Brigade infighting the grass and scrub fire that ran between Hyde and Hall streets inYarraville.

“The refinery — I understand they ran some hose lines with their ownfire crews to put out that edge of the fire,” an MFB spokesman said.

“The grass fire wouldn’t penetrate into the refinery anyway becausethere’s no grass.”

MFB Commander David Bruce said the fire burnt 10 hectares of nativegrassland along Stoney Creek.

“It ran along the side of the refinery but the wind was taking it in theother direction luckily,” he told from the scene.

“Their emergency response team was manning their water canons to keepthe shrubs along the boundary line wet.

“The fuel load was pretty low, the local council was keeping the grassdown … but it did move pretty quickly because of the strong winds.”

A few power poles were also torched.

There are 30 refined product storage tanks at Yarraville with a storagecapacity of 170 million litres. The tanks are used for bulk storage of fuelproducts arriving from Mobil Altona Refinery and Shell Geelong Refinery (viapipeline) and from overseas/interstate (via ship).

Traffic was restricted as eight MFB appliances attended the fire, whichstarted around 11.50am.

It took an hour for firefighters to get the blaze under control andfirefighters are currently blacking out in the area to prevent further breakouts.

There were no reports of structural damage.

A VicRoads spokesman said increased smoke in the area meant the speed limiton the West Gate Bridge had been lowered from 80kmh to 60kmh.

“Motorists are heeding the speed limit. There are minor delays which arebeing cleared pretty quickly as you reach the top of the bridge,” he said.

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