Fire that won?t go out plagues family
By BREE PRICE
LES Einhorn has had to watch his four-month-old son suffer severe coughing fits as smoke from a peat fire shrouds their Coopers Shoot home.
"My little boy coughs for five to 10 minutes with no relief," Mr Einhorn said. "I don't even want to think about the long-term effects on his health."
The fire has been burning for about six weeks on a property near Bundaleer Road, north of Lennox Head.
Mr Einhorn said his son, Daniel, has respiratory distress so serious that two weeks ago he had to go to hospital.
"He's not doing all that well. He's young and vulnerable." Mr Einhorn said.
The rest of the family also has been affected by the smoke that smells like foul, rotting vegetation.
"My wife, myself and my four-year-old daughter experience sore eyes, sore throats and a continual heavy feeling in the head," he said.
Rural Fire Service Far North Coast operations manager Noel Blizzard said the peat fire started when the owner of the property was burning off.
He said that, even though the above-ground fire had appeared to be out, the peat had caught fire and had already burnt underground for about 2ha. To extinguish the fire it has to be emersed in water. The property owner is attempting to flood it but, if that fails, only a considerable amount of rain would extinguish it.