A mechanical fault is believed to have caused a fire at the Cargill processing plant in Narrabri West last week.
Crews from Narrabri Fire and Rescue station responded to reports of a building fire at 4.17am on Thursday at the Baranbar Street site.
A security officer who was patrolling the site saw flames at the facility and immediately raised the alarm.
Upon arriving at the scene, firefighters were informed by onsite staff that a mechanical fault with a transport conveyor had caused sparks.
The fire then spread to the top of a large bulk storage open ventilated silo, approximately 40 metres by 100 metres in diameter, with more than 1000 tonnes of cotton hull product involved with multiple deep seats of fire throughout.
Station captain, Shane Bradford AFSM, detailed the efforts across the days to The Courier.
These efforts included removing the product in an attempt to contain the potentially dangerous situation.
The burning product was relocated to be extinguished in several open areas onsite due to the initial concerns of a potential dust explosion due to the hazardous environment present.
Local fire crews were almost already ready to finish their firefighting efforts on Friday afternoon before they were called to an incident at Narrabri High School.
Capt Bradford said crews were recalled to the Cargill site on Saturday morning after the removed product reignited due to strong winds.
Capt Bradford praised the onsite Cargill staff for their efforts in maintaining the fire efforts.
He said the plant itself suffered no damage, however, some product was destroyed.
Crews tried to salvage as much product as they could.
Local crews were involved in this massive firefighting effort for two and a half days and were supported by additional firefighters from 229 Boggabri, 448 South Tamworth, 452 Tamworth, 314 Gunnedah, 312 Gulgong along with NSW Ambulance (Narrabri and Wee Waa), NSW Police and a FRNSW Duty Commander from Tamworth.
Smoke is expected to been seen from the facility for the next few days as the affected product is being rotated and further hotspots extinguished by onsite staff to prevent a further major fire.
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