Sherwood fire leads to 100,000 litre water storage tank

After the mass devastation the Sherwood Fires caused earlier this year, Tatiara resident Ian Hentschke wants to install a community-accessible 100,000 litre water storage tank for fire fighting purposes. 

At the latest Tatiara District Council meeting, Mr Hentschke addressed councillors to seek council support and further funding to assist with infrastructure costs. 

Mr Hentschke said he had already been approved a $2500 grant from the RCCF, but the total cost of the tank and associated infrastructure would be approximately $11,500.

“In January of this year the Sherwood Fire burnt approximately 85% of our property and affected many others in the district,” he said.

“It was very evident that one of the main issues experienced in fighting and controlling the fire was the lack of readily available and accessible water supply.

“On our property, like most of the district, we have bores located on sand hills which are difficult to access by CFS fire units and have limited water supply (5000-10,000 litres).”

Mr Hentschke said he had ordered a 100,000 litre water storage tank, with the aim of it being used as a permanent fire water storage to supply the CFS and volunteer fire fighting units with water.

“After this event we thought it would be very beneficial to construct a large readily accessible fire water storage tank adjacent to Hundred of Makin Road,” he said.

“The tank will be used by us and our surrounding neighbours as a community tank to help fight fires.”

Tatiara District Council CEO Anne Champness said council needed to respond as quickly and efficiently as possible.

“It’s important to the community – the Sherwood area has been impacted by fires quite frequently over the last few years so it makes sense to have one there,” she said.

“In principle, council should support this initiative as the lack of a static water supply is certainly an issue when fire units are fighting fires.

“A 100,000 litre storage capacity will provide approximately 1.5 hours of water supply.”

The Tatiara District Council voted to commit a further $2500 toward costs involved with Ian Hentschke’s 100,000 litre community water storage tank.

According to Primary Industries and Regions South Australia, the Sherwood Fires in January 2018 confirmed 78 cattle, 1,840 sheep and the destruction of 12,000 hectares of land.

The fire was caused by a faulty electric fence on a day of severe fire warnings.

Local Country Fire Service crews were on the scene in a matter of minutes.