ROUTINE rail grinding works on behalf of the Australian Rail Track Corporation are believed to have caused a grassfire in close proximity to homes in downtown Grafton this morning.
The fire occurred at about 11am near the Villiers St railway underpass.
"We can confirm we had a contracted railgrinding crew operating in Grafton today to perform standard rail maintenance work," an ARTC spokesperson said.
"There have been a couple of small spot fires within the rail corridor as they have worked through."
ARTC staff are trained to observe conditions and in the event of bushfire risk work closely with authorities and emergency services.
"We have an accompanying fire crew who follow the rail grinding team through to act in the event of these fires and put these fires out," the spokesperson said.
"They also maintain regular contact with fire authorities about their work and work program.
"We apologise if anyone was alarmed by the works or suffered any inconvenience and appreciate the community's patience when this kind of work goes through.
"Railgrinding is critical for us to ensure the rail network remains safe, to remove any defects and helps ensure a smooth ride for trains."
'Hot works' such as wielding or rail grinding are avoided on hot days of high bushfire risk.