Suspicious fire at development site near Faringdon Fields

A fire has broken out in a pile at the cleared site of the proposed housing development at Faringdon Fields, Nambucca Heads.

Nambucca Heads Fire and Rescue and Valla Beach RFS were called to the scene just after midday and arrived to a large pile of stumps and branches fully alight.

The fire was about fifty metres from nearby houses.

"It is incredibly rare for a fire of this kind, in this sort of situation, to have started naturally," Deputy Captain Ricky Forbes said.

While there was no immediate risk of flames jumping from the pile and spreading, Ricky said the worry when conditions are this dry is that embers could travel in the wind and spark fires in long grass nearby.

The crew now has the fire under control after emptying an entire tanker of water but will stay with the pile a while longer.

"The problem with piles of this size is that the density of them creates a lot of hot spots which need monitoring," Ricky said.

If this fire was deliberately lit, it makes it the second case of arson in Nambucca this week.

On Wednesday Nambucca and Macksville Fire and Rescue units were called out to the bushland between the old highway and Centenary Parade.

Ricky said that blaze was undeniably the work of a firebug, with five sources of ignition identified across both sides of the walking track through the bush.

It took crews an hour and a half to get that grass fire under control.

The timing coincided with Wednesday school sport activities, meaning fire personnel had to manage the flow of students from their sporting activities back to school via the track, while simultaneously trying to contain the fire.

Fire crews also worked to protect a couple of properties through extensive backburning.

I don't think people understand when they light these fires just how fast something small can turn into something large and dangerous. It can put people's lives and properties at risk. And it uses an enormous amount of resources - resources that could be better used elsewhere.

Deputy Captain Nambucca Heads Fire and Rescue Ricky Forbes

Just last night brigade captains and deputies across the region met to discuss limiting the amount of water used in firefighting activities during times of water scarcity.

He said crews will try to focus on alternate control tactics like machine-dug dry earth containment lines, and using blowers to force fires back on themselves.

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