ON Friday, February 15 a fire was reported near a timber mill just south of Bodalla. Rural Fire Service Appliances responded from Narooma, Dalmeny and Bodalla to find logs, fence posts and mill ends alight as well as the bush along the edge of the mill area.
Rodney Howes proprietor of the mill said that they could have lost the lot if it wasn’t for his daughter Codey.
“Codey was coming home from work around 10pm when she drove past the mill and noticed flames nearby.
“She called me and emergency services, which probably saved the mill from burning down,” he said.
When the fire brigades arrived they knocked down the area that was alight containing the fire to the affected area. Rodney Howes, his staff and firefighters moved the burning logs and timber into the open where it was extinguished and transported away from the mill buildings and machinery.
Then they constructed a fire break around the lit area.
“We were so lucky there wasn’t more damage,” Rodney said.
“Although the back end of one of the tractors got burnt,” he said.
During the incident RFS tankers were required to refill from an overhead filler on the highway south of Whittaker’s Creek nearly a four kilometre round trip away from the fire.
It took several hours to extinguish the fire with firefighters blacking out the area and making it safe by 1.30am.
Rural Fire Service spokesman, John Cullen said the fire started in offcuts and rubbish, but the cause of the fire is “not determined”.
“The owners helped with their machinery to isolate the burning material which made it easier to extinguish,” he said.
“The fire would have been very difficult to put out if it had got into the timber mill proper.
“If it had got into the sawdust that would have been really hard to put out,” he said.
Two appliances returned the next morning to ensure the situation was stable.
“I was so lucky that my daughter was driving by when she did, I might have lost the lot!” Rodney said.
Detectives are looking into the incident.