Catho coal fire still causing headaches

The Rural Fire Service says efforts are still underway to control a large smouldering coal pile at Catherine Hill Bay, where a massive fire destroyed several homes a week ago.

The RFS believes the blaze, which burnt out almost 3,000 hectares of bushland, was sparked by an underground fire that was impossible to put out.

Spokesman Stuart O’Keefe says such fires fuelled by peat and coal tailings are common near old mining operations.

He says crews are working to control any future fire risk in the region.

“That fire front had passed through and things were looking good, but then we had this smouldering coal pile that was estimated at being 200 tonnes,” he said.

“So they’ve decided to put a coating of clay over the top of this fire.

“Hopefully starve it of oxygen and at least contain it and not allow it come out of that pile.”

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