Residents on the south-western edge of Tumut have packed belongings, sent children off to friends and families and have the sprinklers on full-bore as a fire burns to the south of their homes this afternoon.
The Rural Fire Service has listed the Tumut Town Common fire at watch and act level, with Harris and Maroo Street areas urged to enact their fire plans.
The RFS said crews are gaining the upper hand on the fire however it is not contained. The fire is moving to the south west within identified containment lines away from Tumut township, but authorities urged people to continue to monitor conditions and stay aware.
There is no immediate threat to homes in Tumut.
Dan and Amanda Baker, of Harris Street, have done exactly that.
Their children have departed, and while the Bakers are staying for now, they’ve packed the essentials and are ready to leave should the need arise.
Winds have so far pushed the fire away from their homes, but a predicted change ahead of a front this afternoon means no one is out of danger.
“Earlier on we could see flames from the front lawn, but then the water bombers came in and it’s headed away from us, so it’s not too bad at the moment,” Amanda Baker said this afternoon.
The Bakers had a fire plan in place and have packed away important documents, photos, some clothes – and the children’s Christmas presents – should they be required to leave.
Across the road, Mark Bradshaw’s house backs right onto the Town Common bushland.
He has the sprinklers working over-time in the front and backyards and on the roof, has cleaned out his gutters and has packed up the family’s more valued belongings. Like the Bakers, the Bradshaw children are with family and friends elsewhere.
“It’s looking better than it was, but there’s meant to be a change later which could bring it this way,” he said.
“We’ve been told there’s dozers and graders up there, so hopefully they can create a big enough break.”
Mr Bradshaw said he was about as well-prepared as he could be to stay and defend his home.
“I’ll be here with a hose, but hopefully it doesn’t come to that,” he said.
The RFS has provided the following advice:
IF YOUR AREA IS THREATENED BY FIRE
▪️ Do not be in the path of the fire.
▪️ Protect yourself from the heat of the fire. Wear protective clothing and footwear. Cover all exposed skin.
▪️ If the fire impacts, seek shelter in a solid structure to protect yourself from the heat of the fire.
If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.
If you are in an area that has already been affected by fire, there may be small areas of active fire burning for some time. Be aware of the dangers of trees and branches falling.
People with respiratory conditions who are affected by bush fire smoke should activate their health management plan and seek medical advice if necessary. Take precautions, such as staying indoors and closing windows.
Monitor weather conditions and weather warnings at Bureau of Meteorology.
More information from NSW Rural Fire Service: https://bit.ly/38PFEC6 or phone the Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.
For updates, listen to your local ABC Radio station:
If you’re not sure what to do if a bushfire threatens, visit our website for advice: https://ab.co/2DDskE0