Bush fire volunteers say a careless cracker is the cause of an out-of-control fire on Gorge Road yesterday.
The Katherine Volunteer Bush fire Brigade arrived just in time to contain the fire which ripped through the large property and came dangerously close to burning down the house.
“People heard a bang on the road that sounded like a fire cracker,” KA3 volunteer Bob Wright said.
Volunteering with the brigade since 1982, Mr Wright said the fire was “totally out of control”.
He said the fire was likely started because someone couldn’t wait to get home to set off their crackers.
“With the 35 knot winds, it just took a lot of effort from the brigade to get it under control,” he said.
Seven volunteers were called to the scene at 11am, seven hours before crackers can legally be set off, to put out the sweeping flames.
Mr Wright said it took about five hours of sectioning off the property and back burning to manage the fire.
Property owners Anthony McKie and Sonya Johnston said they were lucky to still have their house.
“It was roaring towards the house, we tried to put it out, but it was too big and the wind was just forcing it towards us,” Ms Johnston said.
Mr Wright said the occurrence of a fire on Territory Day is unfortunately not uncommon.
“People should be using common sense,” he said.
“We presume it was a fire cracker because that is the only thing it could have been.
“There is nothing else obvious that could have started it,” he said.