Two recent vehicle fires in New South Wales, Australia have again raised serious concerns about vehicle maintenance standards and the need for adequate fire protection for heavy goods vehicles. A double-lorry caught fire on the M1 near the Hawkesbury River Bridge, north of the town of Brooklyn on the northern outskirts of Sydney. In a separate incident a car carrier on the Pacific Highway near Kempsey, in the mid-north-coast region of New South Wales, was engulfed in flames. Both fires started in the engine bays of the trucks.
The first trailer of the double-truck was incinerated, causing a 14 kilometre traffic snarl on the motorway, while the car carrier fire resulted in hours of disruption to traffic in both directions of the highway. The vehicle and the seven cars it was hauling were destroyed. Both fires broke out in the vehicles’ engine bays, neither of which appear to have been fitted with fire detection or fire suppression equipment.