Australian Pump Industries
advises graziers and major livestock producers to have a livestock fire plan in place for the summer.
Rising temperatures increase the risk of grass fires significantly with a combination of dry, hot days and high speed winds turning verdant paddocks into a fire holocaust in a matter of minutes. Grass fires have been known to spread at up to 30km/h, trapping livestock and taking farmers by complete surprise.
According to Aussie Pumps Chief Engineer John Hales, valuable cattle and sheep, sometimes even top quality stud animals often are lost through lack of planning, hence the need to have a fire safe plan in place.
Regarded as a world leader in the design of portable high pressure fire pumps, Australian Pump Industries has in consultation with Government departments and fire fighting authorities developed a simple plan for livestock protection.
Safe havens need to be marked out for the livestock to escape to, in the event of a fire. The area needs to be centrally located, easy to access and strategically placed, not adjoining timbered or brush area.
There are a few factors to be considered when planning the safe haven.
A paddock containing green summer crops will offer good protection, as it will not burn as readily as a paddock that has dry long grass. The DPI (NSW Department of Primary Industries) recommends a paddock that has been systematically grazed in spring and early summer to reduce dry feed.
Sufficient drinking water
Animals are susceptible to radiant heat, stress and dehydration during fires. The paddock should have a source of sufficient drinking water such as a dam or a stream to enable stock to remain in the area during periods of high to extreme temperatures.
Adequate amount of feed
Livestock may need to stay in the paddock for an extended period of time, which would require a sufficient supply of feed to avoid sickness and maintain health levels.
The paddock needs to have at least a 20m wide cleared or ploughed perimeter, which is completely clear of any unnecessary combustible material such as leaves, bark or branches.
Speed is of the essence
A plan needs to be in place in advance to ensure the livestock can be moved quickly to the safe area.
Sufficient fire fighting equipment
Spot fires should be put out immediately and danger areas wetted down to prevent the fire from spreading further. A trailer or ute mounted fire pump and tank will provide a mobile option. The pump should also be capable of delivering sufficient water.
Hales explains that the Aussie Fire Chief was specifically developed for such applications and can reliably deliver pressures of up to 100psi and flows of up to 450 litres/per minute. Considered one of the world’s finest lightweight portable fire pumps, the Aussie Fire Chief is used by major Government departments and fire fighting authorities around Australia, and has also been widely accepted in Europe, Africa and in some areas of South East Asia as well as the USA.
Aussie Fire Chief fire pumps are powered by a genuine Honda petrol engine and come standard with heavy duty steel skids and anti-vibration mounts. An optional one piece welded steel roll frame is also available.
The higher model, Aussie Mr T is a mighty twin impeller pump that develops pressures of up to 130psi and flows to 550 litres/minute. Equipped with a Honda 9hp or 13hp petrol engine, the fire fighting pumps are available in recoil or electric start models. Mr T is alternatively available with a big Yanmar 10hp diesel drive with electric start.
Many farmers are changing over to the big Yanmar diesels because of the inherent fire safety, lower running costs and overall reliability. Diesel fuel is considered much safer than petrol because of its lower flash point.
All Australian Pump fire pumps offer a self-priming feature that ensures the pump primes first time, every time. Aussie pumps also offer a vertical suction lift of up to 7.6 metres, enabling the operator to draw water from wells, streams or dams.
The entire Aussie Quik Prime pumps range comes with a 5-year warranty.