Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

April 6th 2009
Green waste up in smoke

Island fireman Grant Vormister dwarfed by the plume Tonnes of green waste turned bright red and orange last night after a fire started around 9pm at Townsville City Council's Green Waste Dump in Picnic Bay.

An evening of relatively light winds helped the firemen keep the dramatic blaze under control but burning along a wide front which, fireman, Peter Young from Picnic Bay, one of the first to attend, estimated to be 80 x 60 metres in dimension.

Nobody appears to have been injured but the Magnetic Island Fire Brigade was called at around 9.30pm and eight fireman were stationed around the masses of flaming mulch.

A front-end loader was used to push the burning material back away from the Council's large and valuable mulcher and a demountable nearby.

MI Fire Captain Nick Doran hoses the spectacular blaze

The TCC wood chipper/mulching machine takes
on a surreal appearence beside the fire.

The fire front

A front-end loader pushed back the flaming mulch

A fireman keeps watch

A demountable was spared from the flames.

Peter Young commented that the fire would, he thought, be kept under watch through the night as the fireman could only access one water main. Three would have been ideal to provide enough water to properly douse the flames.

“That's something Council could look at – another hydrant here.” he said.

Magnetic Island Police Senior Constable, Brendan Nugent was unsure how the fire began but suspected that somebody may have dropped a cigarette.

Story and Photos: George Hirst

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

Green waste up in smoke
Chris C
April 5th 2009
There's some sort of wierd irony about this article being published within minutes of the Notice going up about the proposed public art piece on Sustainability!!??

Nice pics George

Go the MIFB - once again, a fantastic job done by island volunteers
April 5th 2009
If the culprit is discovered, they should be forced to pay costs involved in the extinguishing...along with other fines and charges of course. Filthy cigarettes strike again!
Ben T
April 5th 2009
Wow those are just fantastic photos. Just love the chipper machine. Looks like something out of terminator.
Ben t
April 6th 2009
What a waste! A few hundred tonnes of prime (World Heritage) green waste turned into CO2 and absolutely no gain to anyone. A couple of corrections. The mulching machine (or "size reducer" as it is labelled) is actually privately owned by the just-awarded contractor who moved it on-site on Sunday to begin the contract today - Monday. Some coincidence eh?
It's a bit difficult to contemplate cigarette smokers sneaking around in there on a Sunday night hours after the facility was closed and locked.....but anything is possible I guess - and much preferable to speculation about any old conspiracy theory. There are still a couple of mounds of the high quality mulch ground up at the Green Waste dump towards the end of last year - they were not damaged in the fire. But mulch supplies will be very limited later in the year.
Patrick & Raelene Bolger
April 6th 2009
Following on from the comment "What a waste" we totally agree. It is correct that the Mulcher is privately owned by the recently awarded contractor - Magnetic Island Skip Service which is a locally owned and operated business. So to are the other items seen in the photos - being the Frontend Loader and the Demountable Building.
Coincidence regarding a cigarette being responsible for this event is perhaps preferable as stated but more likely not probable!
It is our intention to supply the residents of Magnetic Island a premium grade mulch and compost which will be pasturised. We have also purchased a Tat-G On-Site Organic Digester (Commercial size Worm Farm) to further the process of composting organic matter, food waste.
The fire is just a minor set back that we will over come as all islanders do faced with these sorts of events.
April 6th 2009
Get Poirot on to it!!!!!His grey cells are a bit more evolved .

On a more serious note that is outrageous vindictive and dangerous, if it wasn't an accident.Those poor fire volunteers.

Good luck to you Raylene and Patrick and you 2 are locals,imagine what could have happened if you had come from interstate!!!!!

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