Crocodile carcass fire sparks 5ha blaze

Crocodile carcass fire sparks 5ha blaze     

13 October 2011

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Australia — A woman who sparked a fire that burnt out 5ha when she tried to incinerate a crocodile carcass on the outskirts of Mareeba will be given a written warning from firies.

The fire at Peters Rd, near Biboohra, got out of control, ripped through a grass paddock and then through a canefield.

About 20 firemen from Mareeba and Atherton battled the blaze for several hours to protect a nearby property.

By mid-afternoon the fire was out.

Cairns Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Supt Alan Hogg said with a fire ban in place a permit was needed to light a fire.

“She didn’t get a fire permit and she didn’t watch the fire,” he said.

“She has been advised that she will be receiving an official warning in writing.”

Supt Hogg said the woman, from Melaleuca Crocodile Farm, which supplied skin and meat to outlets throughout the country, decided to burn a crocodile carcass after her dogs started to eat it.

“She said she set the fire to burn the carcass of the crocodile to get rid of the smell, and unfortunately, the fire got away from her,” Supt Hogg said.

He said the woman had gone inside and didn’t keep an eye on the fire.

The blaze got out of control and spread to tinder-dry grass.

“The message that we need to send to the rest of the community is this is what will happen if you don’t do the right thing,” he said.

A nearby farm house and an abandoned horse stud were under threat at one stage, but fire crews managed to keep the fire at bay.

The dry spell in the Far North as well as high temperatures and low humidity has sparked several fires across the region in the past couple of weeks.

Supt Hogg said that about 1ha of sugarcane was burnt.

“The farmer is confident the cane should come back again,” Supt Hogg said

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