04 January, 2014

Bush Fire update 3rd 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 an extremely remote part of Wollemi National Park to the east of Gospers Mountain. No property is under threat. The fire has significant natural fire breaks around it and large areas that have recently burnt to the east.

The cool change and drizzle over Christmas Day slowed the fire significantly. However, since the rain, drying conditions have resulted in a number of reignitions. NPWS RAFT crews have been winching in from helicopters to deal with hotspots on the fire edge.

The fire area is now over 15 000 hectares and over 25 National Parks and Wildlife Service RAFT fire fighters and 5 helicopters are working on containing and mopping up the fire. The fire operation is being controlled from the NPWS depot in Rylstone.

Whilst the fire is essentially contained, there are a number of 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 to 10 days. Depending on wind conditions, smoke is likely to be experienced in the Capertee Valley, Kandos and Rylstone areas. The Putty Road area may also be impacted from Putty valley south to Colo Heights.

The fire is being continually monitored as NPWS 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

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