Scrub fire a scare for pub owners

Last updated 13:00 01/02/2013

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The owners of the Owen River Pub and Restaurant had an anxious wait for help as a scrub fire burned nearby.

Kim Siu said she and husband John were shaking as they called 111 at about 1.30pm yesterday.

"We could see the flames, it was huge," she said.

The fire was in scrub between the pub and State Highway 6.

Because the pub was "in the middle of nowhere", it took about half an hour for firefighters to arrive, she said.

Rural Fire relieving fire lookout attendant John Atkins said volunteer fire crews from Murchison and St Arnaud went to the fire, but it was on a steep hillside that was inaccessible.

A helicopter with a monsoon bucket was brought in and used water from the Owen River to put out the fire.

Mrs Siu said it was out by 5pm.

The fire, believed to have started in composted material, was fanned by strong winds, which fortunately were blowing away from the pub, she said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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