Coalville fire blacked out

AN 80 hectare fire in the Coalville area impacted 10 properties, but no building damage was reported.

District nine operations officer David Chugg said about 400 “fantastic” CFA volunteers worked from Saturday until Tuesday to put out the fire, which at its largest was 80 hectares.

Mr Chugg said while the cause of the grass fire was under investigation he knew the quick response from volunteer brigades prevented it from spreading too far into the grasslands.

“It was in very steep country, hard to get at… however we also had aircraft support,” Mr Chugg said.

“We had fire bombers and heli-tanks, skycrane Elvis and other fixed wing fire fighting equipment.

“We’re working with the shire to assist landowners to rehabilitate the area, fix fences and gates that were burnt.”

Narracan Primary School students and staff were on alert after the fire flared on Monday in hot conditions.

School principal Kevin Bradford said they took advice from the incident controller and emergency management team, who said the school was under “no direct threat”.

“We were prepared to evacuate if we got the call,” Mr Bradford said.

“We always have a plan B; the kids safety is the first priority.”

He said the school’s staff worked to keep the children calm, knowing the “worst thing you can do is panic”.

“The kids did some work on Elvis, to reassure them that if the fire does flare up again, there is a way to put it out,” he said.