Home News Fire-fighters take advantage of calmer conditions, ahead of Saturday

Fire-fighters take advantage of calmer conditions, ahead of Saturday

Firefighters will spend today actively trying to get around the edges of the Dunns Road fire, ahead of predicted deteriorating conditions on Saturday.

Rural Fire Service spokesperson Bradley Stewart told Sounds of the Mountains today the calmer and cooler conditions this morning would assist control efforts.

Dense smoke would limit the amount of oxygen the fire received, but would also ground air-crews.

But he noted the weather forecast for Saturday predicted conditions much like Monday-Tuesday, when the fire swept through plantations on a run from Yaven Creek to past Tumbarumba, then back up through Laurel Hill.

“We’re certainly not out of the woods,” Mr Stewart said. “There’s a lot of fire in the landscape.”

Tumut Rural Fire Service brigade on the job earlier this week.

He once more urged everyone to be prepared – whether they were within 5km or 50km of the fire.

“They need to have a conversation with community members now, they need to have their home well prepared, have adequate provisions to have resources to defend. If not, they need to consider relocating at the first sign of danger.”

Mr Stewart said there was a risk the Dunns Road blaze could merge with the Green Valley fire that’s burned 104,000 hectares around Jingellic.

He said community meetings at Batlow, and Tumbarumba – where 500 people had attended – provided frank advice.

“If not prepared, the time to leave is now,” he said. “People who choose to stay and defend need to think long and hard about that.

“We may be hard-pressed to get resources in there to help.”

He said people thinking they could defend their home with garden hoses were wrong.

“They’re all but a waste of time.”

He felt for the community of Tumbarumba, which had suffered property and stock losses, and been hit by power and communication outages.

“We also asked them to consider relocating.”

Mr Stewart said people needed to be realistic about the help they may receive in the event of an emergency.

“People need to be realistic with expectations,” he said. “We have a limited amount of resources available to us up here. There’s a large number of fires across the state.

“Resources are stretched. If you ring 000, someone will pick up, but there may not be any fire trucks available.”

Mr Stewart noted there had been no reported injuries or loss of life.

As to criticism of the accuracy of information, such as fire maps, Mr Stewart said the technology had its limitations, pointing out it was hard to map the fire, especially with dense smoke.

He also pointed out that the Fires Near Me app had crashed for a time.

A community meeting will be held at Adelong at 12 noon today at the Adelong S and C Club.