More fires burning out of control over the weekend

JUST when fire-fighters battling blazes around the country thought a cool change could bring the relief they were hoping for, lightning storms and changing winds made for even more challenging conditions on the weekend.

In Tasmania, where hundreds of homes were destroyed by fire last week, residents near the uncontained 24,000 ha Forcett fire were again told to be ready to leave their homes.

A grass fire has burnt out more than a million ha in remote South Australia and fires are being contained in Queensland, Victoria and the ACT but the biggest threat remains in NSW where three major fires have now been burning for more than a week.

Residents in coastal towns near Nowra breathed a sigh of relief on Friday when a fire near Dean's Gap was brought under control but strong winds forced the blaze past containment lines on Sunday.

Community safety meetings were held in the country towns of Numeralla and Countegany where "watch and act" warnings have been issued for a fire which has burnt out more than 9,800 ha near Cooma.

A 100km wide blaze which devastated farms and wiped out thousands of stock in the state's south west last week was contained near Yass late Sunday.

Smoke is impacting Yass and Canberra but properties are not under threat.

On Friday night the number of fires burning around NSW had been contained to 90 but lightning strikes sparked more than 40 fresh fires around the state's north west and mid-north coast on Saturday.

Most were controlled quickly but a fire at the Sulcor mine near Tamworth was threatening isolated rural properties on Sunday.

While the majority of fires around the country are believed to be non-suspicious, police in all states have pledged to clamp down on arsonists.

One teenager in the Victorian city of Bendigo and five teenagers in Sydney's surrounding suburbs have been charged with lighting grassfires.

A 31-year-old woman who allegedly fled the scene of a car crash and grass fire in Sydney's west at the weekend will front court today.

On Sunday night at least 30 of the 130 fires burning across NSW had not been contained.A total fire ban remains in place across the state.


SULCOR (near Tamworth) - An out of control fire is burning at the Sulcor mine about 24km north west of Tamworth. Isolated rural properties are under threat. The Air Crane has been deployed to assist ground crews. 

DEANS GAP (Shoalhaven) - A large bushfire continues to burn uncontained 12km west of Sussex Inlet near Nowra. More than 190 fire-fighters are on scene. The fire has burnt more than 8400 hectares. There is no immediate threat to properties.  

COBBLER ROAD (Yass) - A 100km wide bush fire has been contained in rugged country 11km west of Yass, near the eastern end of Burrinjuck Dam. Smoke is impacting Yass and Canberra.

YARRABIN (Cooma) - A bushfire continues to burn 20km east of Cooma in the Kybeyan area. More than 100 fire-fighters continue to establish containment lines and extinguish spot fires on this fire located about 20km east of Cooma. There is no threat to properties at this time.

View NSW Bushfire Map in a larger map

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