Lightning, erratic winds affect bushfires
LIGHTNING and erratic winds caused havoc for firefighters at the Bangala Creek bushfire, which was upgraded to Watch & Act on Tuesday afternoon.
The Rural Fire Service praised firefighters who battled tough conditions to contain the Border Trail, Blue Gum, Bangala Creek, Mt Nardi and Myall Creek fires.
An RFS spokesman said crews were “tested” by deteriorating fire conditions.
He said the Bangala Creek blaze, which had burnt almost 38,000ha, was particularly problematic.
“We are currently facing some challenges out at Bangala as there is a severe thunderstorm cell localised above the fire which is creating lightning and erratic winds,” he said.
“This has increased the fire activity in the western and southern parts of the fire in those sectors.
“Crews are still actively fighting in front of the fire-lines in a combination of containment and direct firefighting where it is safe to do so.”
He said aviation support was being affected.
“Visibility over the fire is compromised by the storm cell,” he said.
“And we have reports the Myall Creek fire has seen an increase of activity in the Ashby area, so we have had some rotary wing aircraft there.”
He said communities to the southeast of the Blue Gum fire, and south of the Bangala Creek near Paddys Flat Road (south of Pretty Gully), should ensure they stay informed throughout the day and be prepared to act if the situation changes.
“Communities in the areas of Ashby and Ellangowan should also be vigilant against the possibility of re-ignitions in recently burnt areas,” he said.
“At Old Tenterfield Rd we have reports of a flare-up which is part of Myall Creek Road fire.”
However, the spokesman said all containment strategies were in place.
Wednesday also promise to be another long hot day for firefighters.
“At this stage we are expecting fairly similar conditions again tomorrow,” he said.
“But we do have some good news, students from Class 6LP at St Mary’s Primary School, Casino dropped off letters thanking the firefighters for the amazing job they are doing.
“So we’ve packed the special messages in our firefighter’s lunch packs and I’m sure these messages would have made their day.”