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Fire Updates for Thursday, 24th October from ABC & RFS Sources

 

RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons tells ABC’s  7.30 the State Mine fire in the Blue Mountains is still “very active”.

“There’s lot of fire burning across the landscape, particularly to the northern edges. We’ve got fire that’s being influenced by these strong southwesterly winds today. They are, in the main, running unchecked at the moment because we simply have, at this stage, no threat, no people in harm’s way, and they’re burning up into the park areas,” he said.
“Further south near the Bells Line of Road, we saw the fire cross the Bells Line of Road under these very strong 50 to 70-kilometre-an-hour winds, or gusting even higher. It started heading towards the communities of Mount Wilson and Mount Irvine – that’s why we issued the [emergency] warnings.”
Shane Fitzsimmons says this is the largest firefighting campaign that he has coordinated as RFS Commissioner.He says the bushfires have been unprecedented in many ways.

“Never before have we lost so many homes this early in the season and never before have we had a conflagration of fire around the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury region of this magnitude that needed to be dealt with this early in the season, combined with some extreme fire-danger ratings that were extending right across the area,” he said.

The emergency warnings for the bushfires in the Blue Mountains have been downgraded to watch-and-act alerts.

There had been emergency warnings for the State Mine fire at Lithgow and the Mount York Road fire at Mount Victoria in the  afternoon.

Rural Fire Service spokesman Joel Kershaw says conditions could change unexpectedly and residents need to remain vigilant.

“In the last five to ten minutes we have seen the emergency warning that was in place at the Mount Victoria fire scaled back to a watch and act. Now this has happened a number of times over the previous days as conditions have eased, so whilst we still want people to be vigilant, we certainly don’t want them to become complacent.

“The temperatures have reduced over the last 24 hours; however, we are seeing those very strong wind gusts and as a result of those gusts we saw a number of those fires upgraded to an emergency warning this afternoon.
“There is the very real possibility that over the coming days these fire also go back up to emergency warning.”

Weather forecast for Central Tablelands for Thursday:   Mostly sunny. Winds W/SW 35 to 50 km/h tending S/SW 15 to 20 km/h during the afternoon and evening. Daytime maximum temperatures between 12 and 21– Weatherzone

 

Interactive NSW Fire Map   http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-08/live-map-nsw-fire-warnings/4456338

 

Watch and Act – State Mine Fire (Lithgow, Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains) 24/10/13 19:25

Posted: 24/10/2013

The large bush fire burning in the area around the Bells Line of Road is now at Watch and Act alert level.

Current Situation

Firefighters, supported by aircraft, are gaining the upper hand on the fire which crossed the Bells Line of Road earlier today.
Crews will be conducting backburning operations in the area throughout the night.
There is still active fire in area to the south of Hartley Vale (near Mt York) to the west of Lawsons Long Alley. There is also the potential for spot fires into the Grose Valley.
Residents in the Lithgow / Mt Victoria / Blue Mountains areas should monitor conditions and be prepared to take action.
A TOTAL FIRE BAN is in force for the Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, Illawarra / Shoalhaven and Central Ranges areas until further notice.
Advice
People who relocated from Mount Tomah and Berambing can now return to their homes.
Mount Irvine and Mount Wilson residents should remain vigiliant, closely monitor the fire situation and take advice from firefighters in the area.
Kurrajong, Bowen Mountain and Yarramundi Communities – Although the fire is not in the immediate area, residents should prepare their home and continue to monitor the situation.
Check and follow your Bush Fire Survival Plan and prepare for a bush fire in your area. If your plan is to leave, or you are not prepared, leave early. Well prepared and actively defended homes can offer safety during the fire.
Evacuation Centres 
The following evacuation centres remain open for those that require assistance:
  • North Richmond Community Hall – 33 William Street, North Richmond
  • Springwood Sports Centre – 83 Macquarie Road, Springwood.
Road Closures
Due to bush fire activity there are numerous road closures. Please be aware that road closures may occur without notice. These closures will continue to be assessed across the day. Roads may be closed for an undetermined length of time. Motorists are urged to avoid all bush fire affected areas.
Bells Line of Road (between Bilpin and Lithgow), Hartley Vale Rd, Fields Rd (Browns Gap) and Darling Causeway remain closed due to smoke, backburning operations and possible fire impacts.
For the latest traffic information, visit www.livetraffic.com or call 132 701.

Watch and Act – Mount York Road, Mount Victoria Fire (Blue Mountains) 24/10/13 19:36

Posted: 24/10/2013

The Mount York fire at Mount Victoria is now at Watch and Act due to easing weather conditions.

Current Situation

Firefighters have contained spot fires and there is no longer any immediate threat to property.
Fire continues to burn in the vicinity of Blackheath and could threaten Mt Victoria, Shipley, Hartley Vale, Little Hartley, the Megalong Valley and the Kanimbla Valley.
Crews will patrol the fireground during the night.
A TOTAL FIRE BAN is in force for the Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, Illawarra / Shoalhaven and Central Ranges areas until further notice.
Advice
People who relocated from Mount Tomah and Berambing can now return to their homes.
Mount Irvine and Mount Wilson residents should remain vigiliant, closely monitor the fire situation and take advice from firefighters in the area.
Residents of Springwood and Faulconbridge should be aware that local road closures may occur at short notice.
Put your Bush Fire Survival Plan into action. If you do not have  Bush Fire Survival plan, know what you will do if the fire threatens your property. Well prepared and defended homes can offer safety during the fire.
School Closures
Some schools will remain closed on Friday 25 October. Details available here.
Evacuation Centres 
The following evacuation centres remain open for those that require assistance:
  • North Richmond Community Hall – 33 William Street, North Richmond
  • Springwood Sports Centre – 83 Macquarie Road, Springwood.
Damage Assessment – Building Impact Analysis
  • House (Habitable Dwelling) – 1 damaged, 7 destroyed
  • Outbuilding (Shed, Business etc) – 0 damaged, 0 destroyed.
Road Closures
Due to bush fire activity there are numerous road closures. Please be aware that road closures may occur without notice. These closures will continue to be assessed across the day. Roads may be closed for an undetermined length of time. Motorists are urged to avoid all bush fire affected areas.
The Great Western Highway is currently open.
For the latest traffic information, visit www.livetraffic.com or call 132 701.
Public Transport Closures
For the latest public transport information visit www.131500.com.au or call 131 500.
Other Information
  • If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.
  • Continue to stay up to date with the bush fire situation by checking www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, listening to your local radio station or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.
  • If you are concerned about the welfare of family and friends, please contact the Police Information Centre on 1800 227 228.
  • Information about disaster welfare assistance, advice for pets and animals and donations is available here.

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