Jail Break Inn Fire

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Jail Break Inn Fire
Jail Break Inn Fire
Location Junee, New South Wales, Australia
Coordinates 34°51′52″S 147°30′01″E / 34.86444°S 147.50028°E / -34.86444; 147.50028Coordinates: 34°51′52″S 147°30′01″E / 34.86444°S 147.50028°E / -34.86444; 147.50028
Date(s) January 1, 2006 (2006-01-01)
Burned area 74,000
Ignition source Suspected cause of the fire was a discarded cigarette butt
Land use Farmland and a nature reserve
Injuries (non-fatal) 1

The Jail Break Inn Fire was suspected to be started by a cigarette butt near the Jail Break Inn 8 km west of Junee, in the Australian state of New South Wales on New Year's Day 2006.[1] The fire was reported around mid-afternoon but quickly spread due to temperatures into the mid to high 40s (°C), low humidity and gusty westerly winds.[2] The fire closed Olympic Highway and the Main Southern Railway line. Seven houses were destroyed, and the Junee Round House was damaged by the fire. The Monte Cristo Homestead was threatened by the fire but was saved by a firefighting helicopter water-bomber.[3] By nightfall the fire had reached Illabo and Ulandra Nature Reserve.

  • 25,200 ha (62,000 acres) of farmland burnt.[4]
  • Stock losses were estimated to be over 20,000.[5]
  • 1,500 kilometres (930 mi) of fencing damaged.[6]
  • Ten homes destroyed.[4]
  • John Heffernan, a local farmer and second cousin of Liberal senator Bill Heffernan, received third-degree burns to 80% of his body while trying to fight the fire.[7]


  1. ^ Glumac, Tamara (2006-01-03). "Cigarette blamed for inferno; Five homes destroyed and firefighter critically injured". The Canberra Times (Fairfax Media). 
  2. ^ "Fires threaten NSW central coast". ABC News (Australia Broadcasting Corporation). 2006-01-01. Retrieved 2009-03-20. 
  3. ^ "Image preview". Newspix. The Daily Telegraph. 2006-01-05. Retrieved 2009-03-20. 
  4. ^ a b Knox, Joe; Talbert, Rebel (2006). "Grassfire spreads 38km in New Year heat Junee Section 44 - "Jail Break Inn"". BUSH FIREjournal (New South Wales Rural Fire Service) 28 (01): 5. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  5. ^ "NSW faces extreme fire danger". ABC News (Australia Broadcasting Corporation). 2006-01-03. Retrieved 2009-03-20. 
  6. ^ "Generous support coming in for farmers affected by bushfires". NSW Department of Primary Industries. New South Wales Government. 2006-01-06. Retrieved 2009-03-20. 
  7. ^ Williams, Samantha (2007-11-11). "Farmer looked death in the face". The Daily Telegraph (News Limited). Retrieved 2009-03-20. 

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