Armidale Dumaresq Rural Fire Service spent hours on Sunday chasing false fire reports

UNSCATHED: Armidale Dumaresq Rural Fire Service escaped the catastrophic conditions in the state but was busy. Photo: Aaron Ray.
UNSCATHED: Armidale Dumaresq Rural Fire Service escaped the catastrophic conditions in the state but was busy. Photo: Aaron Ray.

WHERE there’s smoke, there’s not always fire and Armidale Dumaresq Rural Fire Service spent hours on Sunday fielding dead-end phone calls.

Catastrophic conditions were predicted over the weekend and more than 75 fires burned across the state – but somehow Guyra and Armidale remained unscathed.

Armidale Dumaresq Rural Fire Service superintendent Steve Mepham said that from 8pm to 1am on Sunday the phones did not stop ringing.

“We were a bit of a victim of our own success really. We’ve definitely gotten the message out there for people to report fires but our crews spent all night driving out to areas where there was no fire to be found,” he said.

“It was just a goose chase. We want to remind people to only report a fire if they can actually see flames.”

Fires had been reported on Bundarra Road, Old Inverell Road, Castledoyle Road and Dangersleigh Road but no fire was found at any of these locations. Mr Mepham said despite false alarms and lower fire risk it was important that families still have an emergency fire plan in place.