SMOULDERING FIRE: Senior Deputy Captain Scott Robinson of Woodburn RFS puts out a flare up of the peat fire in Woodburn that has been burning for nearly a month.
SMOULDERING FIRE: Senior Deputy Captain Scott Robinson of Woodburn RFS puts out a flare up of the peat fire in Woodburn that has been burning for nearly a month. Samantha Elley

Peat to burn until it rains

A PEAT fire has been burning in Woodburn for the past four weeks and will continue to do so until rain comes, according to the Rural Fire Service.

Residents and travellers through Woodburn will have noticed a regular plume of smoke on the south side of the Woodburn-Evans Head Road since before Christmas.

According to Woodburn RFS captain Ross Hansen the fire is well contained.

"We have trucks going out there to keep it under control and the property owners have their eyes on it too," he said.

"With a peat fire it won't go out until there is some rain."

With temperatures around the area hitting the late 30s recently the fire has been well guarded.

"We come out here once or twice a day and the owners are watching it all the time," Senior Deputy Captain Scott Robinson said.

"It's frustrating that we can't put it out, especially when we know people have health issues with the smoke.

"We just don't carry enough water."

The difficulty with a peat fire is it can continue to burn for great lengths of time.

"Peat is the build up of leaves and bark over an extended period of time," Snr Dep Capt Robinson said.

"It then turns into one big flammable mass and when on fire just smoulders away. If left for a few million years that's what eventually becomes coal."



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