13 January, 2014


Girribung Creek Fire: Wollemi National Park

Dry lightning storms across Wollemi National Park on the 20th and 21st of December resulted in the ignition of 8 fires including the Girribung and Gospers Creek fires.

NPWS Remote Area Fire Crews (RAFT) and aircraft responded to the fires and were successful in containing 6 of them, including the Capertee River South fire located between the Capertee and Wolgan Rivers. Unfortunately, due to strong winds and very dry conditions, the Gospers and Girribung Creek fires quickly became too large to be contained by ground crews or aircraft.

Both the fires expanded significantly under severe weather conditions on the 22nd and the 23rd December, when the total fire area grew from around 3500 ha to 11000 ha.

The two fires have now joined and are burning in a remote part of Wollemi National Park generally to the east of Gospers Mountain. Currently, no property is under threat. The fire has significant natural fire breaks around it and large areas that have recently burnt to the east and west.

The fire is now 38,000 hectares in size and over 50 National Parks and Wildlife Service and RFS fire fighters and a number of helicopters are working on containing and mopping up the fire. The fire operation is being managed from the NPWS depot in Rylstone.

Ongoing dry conditions have tested fire fighters and containments for the fire. The southern edge of the fire has now burnt out and held above the Capertee and Colo Rivers. The western edge of the fire is now contained on the Running Stream and Coorangooba Creeks to the west of Gospers Mountain and has been linked into The Ovens Creek to the north. At present the fire is burning slowly north towards Koondah and Ovens Creeks.

No property is threatened by the fire, and the fire remains within identified containments. Coorangooba Camping area (near Glen Davis) has been closed in the interests of public safety.

The weather forecast for coming days shows higher temperatures and dropping humidity but winds remain relatively light and variable.

Whilst the fire is essentially contained, there are large areas still burning within the current fire perimeter. These pockets will continue to burn out and will generate a significant amount of smoke. This smoke is likely to continue to be present across the area for at least a week and up to 14 days.

Depending on wind conditions, smoke is likely to be experienced in the Capertee Valley, Kandos and Rylstone areas. Smoke is likely to be experienced in the Putty Road area from the Putty Valley south to Colo Heights.

The fire is being continually monitored as NPWS and RFS crews work towards full containment.

For further information on progress of the fire, please visit the Rural Fire Service Website at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au

click on map to enlarge

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