A grass fire burns cars at Great Western Racecourse in Victoria
Patrons and horses were forced to evacuate after the grass fire engulfed cars near Great Western Racecourse just after 1.30pm today.
Paramedics treated a man in his 40s who tripped and cut his leg and a few others were assessed at the scene.
Photos showed a burning car, with several others in dire straits as the fire raged nearby and thick plumes of smoke billowed into the air.
Nine Country Fire Authority (CFA) vehicles, along with water bomber planes and teams from Fire Rescue Victoria, fought the blaze on Moyston-Great Western Road, about 28km north of Ararat.
“About 18 cars were burned in the blaze which spread to nearby prairies,” a CFA statement said.
‘The fire was brought under control just before 2.30pm and crews remain on site to extinguish the fire ensuring that there are no hot spots remaining.’
The fire also burned 0.5 hectares of grass.
Racing Victoria have confirmed that the Great Western race meeting was canceled after the first race due to the fire.
“Racing Victoria would like to advise that today’s meeting at Great Western has been abandoned after Race 1 due to a car fire close to the racecourse,” a statement from Racing Victoria read.
“The CFA is managing the situation and the fire is now under control.
“All participants and horses were evacuated, and customers for their safety were evacuated or directed to assembly points if their car was parked near the fire.”
The cause of the fire is unknown, but it is not believed to be suspicious.