LIGHTNING STRIKES: The Rural Fire Service released a map which showed the size of the area where a storm cell saw a lot of lightning, particularly across the Blue Gum Road and Bangala Creek firegrounds on the night of Tuesday December 10.
LIGHTNING STRIKES: The Rural Fire Service released a map which showed the size of the area where a storm cell saw a lot of lightning, particularly across the Blue Gum Road and Bangala Creek firegrounds on the night of Tuesday December 10.

Lightning, storms to hinder firefighters' efforts

RAIN on Tuesday night has been welcome relief to some firefighters and a hazard to others, the Rural Fire Service reported.

A RFS spokesman said it is a cruel truth that some of the light rain experienced over the region's bushfires will hamper firefighter efforts.

"Some areas got a really good dumping and others a little mist," he said.

"It's the light mist which makes it difficult to conduct backburning; we either need heaps of rain or none."

He said they are expecting more thunderstorms and dry lightning.

Firefighters will be undertaking backburning at a number of fires on Wednesday, he said.

"At the Border Trail Fire which has burnt over 26,000ha we will shortly start backburning on the western edge to the south of White Swamp Road.

"Fire are continuing to flare up there but are staying within containment lines."

The spokesman said the Blue Gum Fire has blackened nearly 4,600ha.

"We managed to hold this fire within identified boundaries on Tuesday and is appears it has not been growing significantly, although it is pressing to the north.

"We think this is due to a lot of lightning in the area overnight which may have caused new ignitions."

The Bangala Creek Fire is nearly 38,000ha in size.

"Again we are in property protection mode in Pretty Gully," the spokesman said.

"Our remain body of works in the Main Camp area where we are planning to undertake significant backburning subject to the effects of the overnight rain.

"It seems that the western edge in the Main Camp area did not much rain."

However, the Myall Creek Rd Fire continue to give the RFS headaches with nearly 119,000ha burned.

"It stayed within expected containment lines with a couple of minor flare ups which crews treated overnight, but we are still having real problems with falling trees," he said.

"There are reports of a tree on a powerline up in the Ellangowan area and we had more trees down in Iluka and Ashby areas overnight.

"The RFS is really focused on our crews and the public looking up."

He said the Mt Nardi Fire which has burned 6,520 as of yesterday is behind containment lines and will continue to burn for some weeks.

Meanwhile, Mountain Blue blueberry farmer Ridley Bell said he is concerned that fires are within three or four kilometres of his farm near Tabulam.

"If the wind comes from the north we are in trouble," he said.

"But I believe we should ask the NSW government to give all the firefighters a medal, they have and are doing a great job, in fact I think they should be paid for their work."



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