Fire Rescue NSW | Heatherbrae accident, Kooragang grass fire

The site of the Kooragang fire.
The site of the Kooragang fire.

Fire Rescue NSW Tarro station have responded to a multitude of calls recently.

On Sunday, Tarro and East Maitland firefighters aided in the evacuation of twenty passengers from a smoke-logged train carriage at Thornton station. The fire was safely extinguished and found to be from a transformer in the driver’s cabin.

On Tuesday, Tarro and Raymond Terrace firefighters extinguished an electrical fire at a residence in Raymond Terrace. The occupant, an elderly man, was transported to hospital.

On Wednesday, Tarro firefighters attended a two-car accident at Heatherbrae and released a female who was trapped in one of the vehicles. Crews provided fire protection and were aided by the State Emergency Service in removing the woman from the vehicle. She was taken by ambulance to hospital.


On Wednesday 14 February, a large area of thick grass was reported as alight at Ash Island Reserve. The rapidly spreading grassfire at a site of ecological significance at Kooragang wetlands presented crews with several challenges, such as access to the site and the use of aerial support.

With extremely dry conditions, the fire quickly established itself in the grasslands. Two fire trucks from Tarro were initially dispatched to the incident, which presented significant challenges as the roads in the area and not suitable for heavy vehicles.

The site is an identified place of significant environmental importance and a breeding ground for the endangered golden bell frog. Within an hour, the fire had grown to three hectares, with wind gusts increasing fire spread. This prompted the National Parks and Wildlife Service to dispatch a helicopter to start water bombing.

A backburn from the surrounding trails and roads was deemed to be the best way to control the fire due to the inability to access the area. Crews from Tarro were assisted by an aerial appliance from Mayfield West to keep the fire behind designated containment lines. Two strike teams of Rural Fire Service (RFS) crews were called for to assist with the subsequent backburn which encompassed a total of 64 hectares.

FRNSW and RFS crews continued to work throughout the night with the incident being brought under control the following morning.