NSW RURAL FIRE SERVICE

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October - December 2002

Statewide Fire Update - 8 November 2002

Posted: 08/11/2002

Friday, 8 November 2002 Fire Commentary Updates: Currently more than 2000 firefighters are working on 93 fires that have burnt more than 470,000 hectares across NSW. Firefighters from the NSW Rural Fire Service, National Parks and Wildlife Service, State Forests, NSW Fire Brigades and interstate agencies including County Fire Authority and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment from Victoria, Country Fire Service and the Metropolitan Fire Service from South Australia, the Tasmania Fire Service and the Tasmania National Parks are working on fires in the north of the State. Firefighting crews across the State are preparing for poor fire conditions forecast today and across the weekend. Total Fire Bans have been declared today for the Central Tablelands, Mid North Coast, Metropolitan, Illawarra, Hunter, South Coast, Southern Tablelands, South West Slopes, Riverina, Lower Western, Upper Western, North West Plains, Central West Plains and Central West Slopes. Upper Hawkesbury - Bala Range – Putty Road closed The Bala Range fire is now contained and is not threatening property. Crews will be patrolling the area today, along the Putty Road. The Putty Road is closed to through traffic and only residents will be allowed to travel between Wheelbarrow Ridge Road, Colo Heights and the Garland Valley Halfway House until further notice. Residents who use this road are requested to take extra care while driving. “The major road is closed for safety reasons with a number of firefighting crews working along the road edge, mopping up and removing dangerous trees”, said Hawkesbury Fire Control Officer Karen Hodges. Meanwhile, 25 tankers from RFS and South Australian CFS are working with National Parks & Wildlife Service remote area fire teams (RAFT) and today will concentrate on securing control lines. This will happen in the Gorricks Run and McDonald River areas north of St Albans and along the Putty Road from Stony Creek to Bunjim Creek north of Colo Heights. Properties in the Little Borree and Wallabadah areas have been secured and crews will continue mopping up the area. Cessnock District - Mount View – property protection strategies in place Rural Fire Service and State Forests crews are using property protection strategies for remote, rural properties in the Mitchell Road area in response to a breach of containment lines today. Local RFS, Tasmania Fire Service and State Forests crews with four water-bombing helicopters are deployed to the area. Great Lakes District – fires contained Six small fires in the Great Lakes area are either burning within containment lines or expected to be contained today. The Mount Peppers fire, which is burning in inaccessible terrain, had a backburn carried out last night on its western and southern sides. Crews were successful in protecting properties in the Stroud Road area, using a backburn operation. Six units will continue backburning and patrolling the area today. Aircraft will be used to assist crews in inaccessible areas. The Anderson Creek fire will have three RFS units patrolling the area and the assistance of an Erickson Aircrane today to contain fires in inaccessible areas. Gloucester District – six fires burning Six fires are burning in the Gloucester district. Crews will be focussing on the Cravens Peak and Giro fires today. At the Cravens Peak fire crews will be establishing containment lines on private property in preparation for strong northwesterly winds later today. The Glen fire is now contained and crews will be strengthening containment lines and carrying-out property protection along the Glen Road. The Giro fire has the potential to impact upon open grazing lands, however, crews hope to contain the fire today, weather permitting. Other fires in the Gloucester area are burning in inaccessible, remote terrain and are not threatening private property. Crews at these fires will focus on establishing containment lines, water bombing and aerial reconnaissance. Singleton District – property protection in place Containment lines established over the previous three days have been successful on the Chapman fire. Crews will be monitoring and mopping up the fire today. Crews working on the Fal Brook fire, will be focussing on property protection in the Mount Royal area. Crews worked through the night to complete a major backburn operation and fresh crews will continue to patrol the containment lines today. Northern Tablelands – mild weather yesterday helps firefighters Long Gully fire is out and containment lines on the new outbreaks are being constructed during the milder weather in preparation for the weekend. Interstate crews are working in the Guyra area on the Strathmore fire. Rockwood, Blatherarm and Bald Rock fires have been successfully contained and are classified as patrol status. The Spirabo Complex of fires and the Nobles Creek fire are now being patrolled. Crews have successfully contained all but one fire burning in remote country in the Tamworth district. Both the Glen Ayr and Diamond Swamp fires in Bingara District are being controlled. Small fires in the Walcha district, burning in remote areas, are being monitored and containment line work is being completed with local crews. Coonabarabran District – Jerrys fire closes Newell Highway The Jerrys fire that crossed the Newell Highway containment lines on Wednesday evening, had crews working around the clock on establishing and maintaining containment lines. The fire across the Newell Highway was rounded up and blacked out. The Newell Highway near Billy Creek was closed for an indefinite period to ensure that the fire was safe and to allow backburning operations to continue. It is likely that the highway will be reopened lae this afternoon. Local Rural Fire Service, State Forests and National Parks and Wildlife Service crews will be focussing today on blacking out and patrolling the area. With the expected weather conditions crews are hopeful that they can now maintain containments which have been put in place. The Jerry’s fire has now burned in excess of 10,000 hectares. Upper Hunter - Crawney Zone The Horse Swamp, Tubrabucca, Gulf Mountain and Glen Range fires broke containment lines late yesterday. Residents in the areas of Middlebrook, Dry Creek, Cressfield and Wingen could be directly affected by the weather forecast for the Glen Range fire. Crews are working with earthmoving equipment to prepare strategic breaks around private property and village areas. Residents have been asked to prepare their homes for possible fire threat. Two new fires, which started yesterday in the Rouchel and Gulf Mountain areas, had crews working through the night backburning the area. Crews are now looking at containment strategies to be put in place today. There is no current threat to property. Clarence Valley – all contained All fires in the Clarence Valley are contained with crews continuing to work on the Blacksmith Shop and Hanging Rock fires with the bad fire weather forecast for today and over the weekend. Hastings District – remote fires in Hastings area Several fires are burning in remote areas in the Hastings area. No property is under threat. Crews carried out backburning operations on the Wilson fire overnight, and it is now contained. The area will continue to be patrolled today and crews will be assisted by three helicopters. Blue Mountains Area - Mount Hay Fire contained The Mount Hay fire in the Blue Mountains is contained.

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