Total Fire Bans Tuesday, 26 November 2002 – The Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service has declared a Total Fire Ban in the following Weather Forecast Districts: North West Plains, North West Slopes, Central Western Plains, Central West Slopes, Hunter, Central Tablelands, Metropolitan, Southern Tablelands, Illawarra, South Coast.
The weather forecast for this area is very high temperature, low humidity and moderate to strong winds. These conditions are conducive to fire activity and the community is urged to take particular care. Fire danger in this area will be extreme or approaching extreme.
The Total Fire Ban will become effective for the 24 hours from MIDNIGHT TONIGHT, Monday, November 25, 2002 until MIDNIGHT Tuesday, 26 November 2002.
During a Total Fire Ban no fire of any kind may be lit in the open. This includes incinerators and barbecues which burn solid fuel, e.g. wood or charcoal. You may use a gas or electric barbecue, but only if · It is on residential property within 20m of the house or dwelling; · It is under the direct control of a responsible adult; · The ground around the barbecue is cleared for 3m of all material which could burn; · You have a continuous supply of running water.
A map identifying the boundaries of weather districts can be found on the Bureau of Meteorology web site at http://www.bom.gov.au/weather/nsw/dist_map.shtml. Members of the public can phone 1 800 654 443 or their local NSW Rural Fire Service Fire Control Centre for more information.
More than 500 firefighters are working on 42 fires that have burned more than 300,000 hectares across NSW. Firefighters from the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), State Forests (SF), NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB. Weather conditions today are hot and dry and are expected to deteriorate tomorrow.
Total fire bans have been declared for the Hunter, Illawarra, Southern Tablelands, South West Slopes, Riverina, Lower Western, Upper Western, North West Plains, North West Slopes, Central Western Plains, Central West Slopes, Central Tablelands, Metropolitan and South Coast weather districts.
The fires of most concern are the Touga fire in the Shoalhaven district and the Halfway fire in the Eurobodalla district.
Shoalhaven Touga fire
The Touga fire, west of Nowra, has burned 31,275 hectares of Morton National Park since it was ignited on 8 November 2002 and is going.Yesterday crews worked on containing the southeast edge of the fire where multiple spotovers the Ettrema Trail burned into the 2001 Highland fire ground. Only a hut was burned and spotovers in the northwest have been contained.Aerial reconnaissance will be carried out this morning to evaluate the extent of yesterdays fire activity and crews are focussing on waterbombing and directly attacking the fire today.The Braidwood and Tolwong Roads are closed.
Eight fires, west and south west of Moruya ranging from Tinpot in the south to the Buckenboura Valley in the west, were ignited 19 November from lightning strikes.Yesterday aircraft waterbombed the fires and ground crews constructed handtools trails and mopped up the edges, and this will continue today.The Halfway fire, 9km southwest of Deua River, has burned 100 hectares and is going.Yesterday the fire broke its containment lines and is running. Today crews will be focussing on containing the spread of the fire to the northwest
The Jilliga fire, 25km northwest of Nerrigundah, has burned 80 hectares and is going. Crews yesterday directly attacked the fire and put in control lines. Today it is burning in inaccessible terrain.
The Winbenby fire, in the middle of the Deua National Park, has burned 50 hectares and is going within containment lines. Today crews will patrol the fire.
The Mudmelong fire, 6km south west of the Deua River, has burned 30 hectares and is being controlled. Yesterday crews patrolled and direct attacked hotspots and today it is burning in inaccessible area.
Lithgow – Mount Airly Fire
The Mount Airly fire, burning 40km north of Capertee, has burned 100 hectares since it was ignited on 13 November and is being controlled.Crews yesterday successfully put in a handtool line all around the fire and no active fire was seen going on the edge. Today crews will patrol and mop up hot spots.The Bingeltree fire, in rugged country south of the Turon River, has burned five hectares, since it was discovered late last night. Today aircraft will waterbomb and ground crews will directly attack the fire.
Upper Hawkesbury – Bala Range
The Bala Range fire, in the Upper Hawkesbury, has burned 84,850 hectares of Yengo National Park since it was ignited on 5 October 2002 and is contained.
Yesterday crews worked on a backburn put in the Yokey sector on Saturday and strengthening containment lines. Today crews are strengthening containment lines.
The Fal Brook fire, north of Singleton, has burned 1,277 hectares of the Mount Royal National Park since it was ignited on 4 November 2002 and is contained.Yesterday ground crews directly attacked hot spots and today crews will be mopping up.
The Westbrook fire, 20km northeast of Singleton, has burned 250 hectares of grassland since it was ignited yesterday afternoon and is now contained.Yesterday crews contained the fire and will consolidate containment lines with dozers in preparation for deteriorating weather this afternoon. Crews are patrolling the fire and will directly attack it if needed.
Parry fires The Biralee fire, 17km north of Bendemeer, which has burned 160 hectares since it was ignited on 12 November, is being controlled.Yesterday crews contained an outbreak on the eastern side with handtools. Crews will patrol and mop up today.
The Kippax 2 fire, near Kippax Road between Bobin and Elands has burned 200 hectares since it was ignited on 22 November is contained.Crews worked on containment lines yesterday and crews will patrol the fire today.
The Titaatee Creek fire, 20 east of Gloucester, has burned 40 hectares, since it was ignited yesterday and is contained.Crews are working today to establish a containment line with a dozer, ground crews will mop up and helicopters will waterbomb the fire.