Spate of blazes has firefighters on the go

FIREFIGHTERS controlled at least five simultaneous vegetation fires in the Launceston area yesterday, with some houses coming under threat.

A grass and scrub fire, reported at 2.16pm, came close to properties at Riverside.

The blaze was off New Ecclestone Road on private land.

About half a dozen firefighting appliances attended and a helicopter flew overhead to monitor the blaze.

The fire burnt grass, scrub, trees and fences, as well as a large log pile, which had been prepared for winter.

The blaze was next door to the Riverside Retirement Village and concerned residents said they were lucky the fire did not spread to the village.

Some used garden hoses to help douse the flames from a carport overlooking the fireground.

Resident Glenda Briggs said it was the second fire she had seen in the same spot, with the first about 10 years ago.

She said yesterday that there was a man cutting long, dry grass on the property below, about 30 minutes before the blaze started nearby.

"If they hadn't done that, it could've been worse," Mrs Briggs said.

Resident Stuart Haythorne, hose in hand, said he had seen flames flying up the trees next door.

"We were very nervous, being very near," he said.

Firefighters also extinguished vegetation fires in Henry Street, Ravenswood, which threatened houses; Prossers Forest Road, Ravenswood; Hakea Grove, Rocherlea, and Tallentire Road, Rocherlea.

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