Power lines spark Oaks Estate blaze

A grass fire at Oaks Estate may have been caused by sparking power lines.

Residents have described hearing at least two bangs louder than shotguns and they came out of their houses and saw flames moving across the hill near Queanbeyan River.

Resident John Saeck, who lives on Florence Street about 200 metres from the fire, said his father called triple zero and fire trucks were on the scene within five minutes.

“First I heard three bangs, and then we spotted the fire up on the hill, where the fire trucks are now. I think it was the power lines that are crashing together and sparking in the wind,” he said.

“We called the firies and it took them only five minutes to get here. We could just see the fire starting, the wind was blowing it down the hill and then the fire was creeping back up the hill slowly.

“We could see it from the back yard it was just getting bigger and bigger.”

Another witness said she heard two big bangs that were like a shotgun, or “even louder”

“At first I thought it was thunder, but then I thought ‘Oh no, we should get out of here’,” she said.

Canberra Times reporter Lisa Cox is on scene at the Oaks Estate grass fire, and advises that two tankers and a number of control vehicles are hosing down the area.

Queanbeyan City Council has said that although there is no fire emergency in the shire at the moment, any residents from rural areas who wanted to leave their properties should enact their evacuation plans.

Current Rural Fire Service incidents in the ACT - click each marker to see details

A spokesman said residents could take their horses to Queanbeyan Showground.

"If you wish to do this please call Council's Rangers Supervisor Simon Upward on 0409 394 203. Horses only, no stock. Owners must tie up their horse and provide water/food and care for them," he said.

"Residents with companion animals can contact the Queanbeyan Pound which has some limited places. Please call the Pound first on 6285 6269. If the Pound has no room please take animals to Queanbeyan Showground."

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