A Country Fire Association member accidentally sparked a blaze and caused an emergency alert while he gave a lecture on fire safety.
The CFA member was at the Balmoral Recreation Reserve in Victoria’s west on Wednesday when he took a cigarette lighter to the grass to demonstrate how quickly fuel can burn, but instead started a fire.
“I can say individuals are very embarrassed today,” CFA deputy chief Alen Slijepcevic told 3AW on Thursday.
The out of control fire was sparked about 3pm, and led to an emergency warning. It was 39.2 degrees at 3.10pm in neighbouring Kanagulk, according to Weatherzone.
“There is a bushfire at the Recreation Reserve on HARROW RD that is not under control, travelling in a southerly direction,” CFA wrote on Twitter about 3.30pm on Wednesday.
“You are in danger, act now to protect yourself, it is too late to leave. Take shelter indoors.”
EMERGENCY WARNING #BALMORAL – there is a bushfire at the Recreation Reserve on HARROW RD that is not under control, travelling in a southerly direction. You are in danger, act now to protect yourself, it is too late to leave. Take shelter indoors https://t.co/K8o4WNj6UL #vicfires pic.twitter.com/BvyN58yd3x
— CFA Updates (@CFA_Updates) December 13, 2017
It was brought under control in the early evening by ground crews and several aircraft.
“We do apologise to the Balmoral community,” Mr Slijepcevic told 3AW. “Thankfully there was no significant property damage done.”
CFA has actioned an investigation in addition to a traditional fire investigation.
Both investigations were due to commence on Thursday.
The investigation team will report back to the Deputy Chief Officer.
Appropriate support will be provided throughout this process for all involved.