Firies welcome cooler weather

COOLER conditions have enabled fire crews in the Bungawalbin National Park to bring fires under control.

Rural Fire Service Superintendent Rodney Brown said the weather was a welcome relief for tired firefighters and the service was happy with operations yesterday.

Five RFS fire fighting units have been working in conjunction with the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

NPWS crews had brought in two bulldozers and a grader to fortify containment lines, and a helicopter to assist with operations.

A fixed-wing aircraft brought in on Sunday for water bombing operations proved ineffective and remains on standby at Casino airport.

“We’ve been fortunate with favourable conditions allowing us to complete our containment strategies,” he said.

“We’re confident at this stage that we’ve got it contained and we’re looking at three to four days of patrolling containment lines and mopping up.”

The RFS and NPWS crews worked into yesterday evening before fresh firefighters relieved them to patrol containment lines overnight.

“Depending on conditions we’re hoping the RFS can pull out tomorrow morning,” Supt Brown said.

“NPWS will mop up and patrol probably until Saturday or until the fire is out.”

Intense fire activity on Monday afternoon caused fires to cross containment lines forcing the closure of Myall Creek Road between Quarry and Avenue roads.

The fire has burned out more than 1000ha of the 3700ha Bungawalbin State Forest, south-east of Casino.

Supt Brown said the RFS would be reviewing the closure this morning to see if it can be opened to the public but it is likely it will be closed until this evening.

“We appreciate resident’s cooperation and patience finding ways around the road closure,” he said.

“No evacuations have been necessary as the whole fire has been contained within the national park.

With today’s weather forecast predicting possible showers, with winds from the south-east, firefighters are confident there will be no further flare ups though people in the area should continue to monitor the situation.

Residents can monitor the situation by checking the RFS website or by calling 1800 679 737.

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