Coronial inquiry into March 2018 bushfire cause still under review

Television crews report live from Tathra after the March 18, 2018, bushfire. Picture: Alex Ellinghausen
Television crews report live from Tathra after the March 18, 2018, bushfire. Picture: Alex Ellinghausen

A coronial inquiry into the cause of the March 2018 bushfire remains under review.

According to a justice department spokesperson, a date for the NSW coroner's court inquiry is yet to be set, 18 months after the blaze destroyed 65 homes and damaged a further 46 in and around Tathra.

In the days after the fire, NSW Rural Fire Service investigators found electrical infrastructure on Reedy Swamp Rd, just a few kilometres from Bega, as the likely cause. This information was then handed to NSW Police who then provided their report to the coroner.

Some Reedy Swamp residents described seeing powerlines sparking, and "fireballs hitting the ground" on the day, and said they felt infrastructure should be safe guarded during extreme weather conditions.

Essential Energy responded to the RFS's initial findings, reporting its own investigation suggested trees fell onto power lines from outside designated clearances during a day of extreme weather conditions.

In the 24 hours after the fire, law firm Slater and Gordon said it was investigating the possibility of a class action suit on behalf of Tathra residents, with the firm noting part of the litigation would involve the adequacy of power line maintenance.

Coroners are notified by police of any fire involving damage in excess of $100,000, as well as if the fire is suspicious, or a death has occurred.

This story Coronial inquiry into March 2018 bushfire cause still under review first appeared on Bega District News.