West Tamar fire threat

A BUSHFIRE that raced through a timber plantation on the West Tamar on Tuesday had the potential to be as bad as the fires that burnt within metres of the Beaconsfield Hospital in 2009, West Tamar fire brigade chief Todd Russell said.

The fire started in the Gunns managed investment scheme plantation at Holwell about 2pm on Tuesday and burnt north-east, jumping Nettlefolds Road and burning privately owned paddocks.

Mr Russell - who was sitting in the fire station completing paperwork when the call came in - said the fire threatened a farmhouse but was quickly held  within containment lines.

``It had the potential to reach other properties, but the quick response of volunteer fire brigades and air support provided to the fire prevented it from spreading further than it did,'' Mr Russell said.

``It was a great save by all involved.''

His only complaint from the day was the media attention his part in the firefighting effort received due to his high profile as a survivor of the 2006 Beaconsfield mine disaster.

``There's hundreds and thousands of volunteer firefighters that have been working on the Tasman Peninsula to save lives, even if due to the conditions of the fire they couldn't save all  the property,'' he said.

``They've been working their backsides off and they can't even make the paper.

``They need a bit of recognition.''

The 15-hectare Holwell fire has been mostly extinguished and is being patrolled by local brigades.

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