Firefighters prepare for the heat of battle

Firefighters prepare for the heat of battle


Central Western Daily  By NADINE MORTON

FIRE crews are on standby today as the Canobolas Zone is once again classified with a severe fire danger rating.

Weather is predicted to hit 35 degrees today with a chance of a thunderstorm in the evening.

While heavy rain would be welcome across the region, NSW Rural Fire Service Canobolas Zone operations officer Brett Bowden said the associated lighting strikes are a concern.

Firefighters prepare for the heat of battle 

"We're concerned about the afternoon storm and with lighting strikes [as] they can cause fires," he said.

Mr Bowden said it is the zone's southern areas that are of greatest concern.

"We're concerned enough about that to be planning another emergency declaration to be brought in," he said.

"The level of alert in all our brigades is very high."

Mr Bowden said human activity has caused a number of fires over the last few weeks including one sparked by a chainsaw near Woodstock this week.

He has urged people not to use farm equipment such as slashers, tractors as well as grinders, welders and lawnmowers while conditions are so treacherous.

"Refrain from human activity that might cause a fire," he said.

While large fires at Long Point and Shiel at Woodstock are now well contained, it is the 228 hectare fire at Nangar Road at Eugowra that Mr Bowden said they will be closely monitoring.

"The one at Eugowra is the most at risk only because it's the newest and because it's on a high timbered ridge," he said.

"If anything is going to spark that'll be it.

During today's hot weather all national parks and state forests will be closed with people urged to take care in the dangerous conditions.