“My key message: we really need people to be aware that the fire is still here and it’s still going to be here for the next few weeks,” said Bradley Stewart of the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) this morning (Saturday).
Mr Stewart, a Public Liaison Officer for the RFS said crews did an excellent job on Friday night, the end of a peak weather day which saw temperatures in the low 40s and winds gusting up to 90 kph. Fire fighters and private volunteers responded to four emergency alerts overnight in the Tumbarumba/Mannus area, Tumblong, Mt Adrah and Adelong.
Fire broke containment lines at Mt Adrah and made a “significant” run east, running parallel with the Hume Highway and crossing the Snowy Mountains Highway, closing both highways briefly.
As of 10am Saturday, the Snowy Mountains Highway remained closed.
“There are absolutely no issues with the main southern rail line between Sydney and Melbourne,” said Mr Stewart.
“The fire is well away from that area.”
The worst of Friday night’s fire fight was in the Mt Adrah area, where the fire broke containment lines. The RFS hadn’t received any reports of property damage, but Mr Stewart said there was likely damage to pastures and rural infrastructure in that area.
For the coming week, the RFS will monitor a cycle of elevated fire conditions, with some periods of relief. Mr Stewart said property owners should remain vigilant, because there are still areas where the fire is placing pressure on containment lines, where the RFS is watching for potential fire runs and breaches of containment lines.
There is also the ever-present possibility of new ignitions from human activities or lightning.
With rain forecasted for Thursday and Friday and lower temperatures already moving through the region, Mr Stewart said fire fighters will take advantage of the next few days to work on “consolidating containment lines and ‘blacking out’ areas between Tarcutta and Adelong and south.”
In the area around the Goobarragandra, Mr Stewart said they’re hoping to construct containment lines and conduct back burning in the next few days, which will make the areas smoky. He asked residents to be aware of the back burning operations and continue to monitor official sources of information, such the RFS website and social media and the ‘Fires Near Me’ app.