For peat sake, put out underground fire that’s been burning since 1997

For peat sake, put out underground fire that’s been burning since 1997

02 September 2010

published by

Australia — The fire, at Yeodene southeast of Colac, has sparked other fires in the area and continues to worry authorities with the approach of another fire season.

The fire was first discovered 13 years ago when it sparked a larger fire which consumed about 700 hectares of bush.

Have your say on the feedback form below

One of the plans being pursued by the CFA would see a series of sprinklers erected on the site using bore water to dampen down the surrounding area.

But a local engineer Michael Delahunty told the Geelong Advertiser that he had proposed to the authorities that the area could be flooded and the fire extinguished.

Mr Delahunty did not think the CFA’s plan for spinklers would work.

“I would build a clay wall and back the water up against it,” Mr Delahunty said. “It would be only just above ground level, and be filled by the natural flow.

“I put the proposal to them but for some reason they don’t like it.”

CFA Region 6 acting operations manager Dean Manson said yesterday he did not think the area could be flooded.

Mr Manson said the peat area was over a couple of aquifers and these had drained away, like the peat swamp, during the prolonged drought.

“The water table of the aquifers has gone down and the area doesn’t hold water,” Mr Manson said. “We’ve looked at a number of other options as well.”

The area containing the peat fire is private land, and apart from that, the public has been warned to keep clear because of the obvious and hidden dangers.

Peat fires can burn underground leaving a thin crust of top soil through which people and vehicles can fall.

At the Yeodene site, smoke can be seen rising from the ground, while trees in the immediate vicinity have died because of the heat.

Mr Manson said there were peat fires in Europe that had been burning for hundreds of years.

“They are very difficult to put out,” he said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien