GFMC: Bush and Forest Fires in Australia

Bush and Forest Fires in Australia

29 November 2002

Australia´s fire seasons

Actual Fire Situation Maps 

An actual fire situation map in NSWcan be found directly at:

An actual fire situation map inVictoria can be found directly at:

Total Fire Bans Thursday, 28 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, Central Western Plains.
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, Wednesday, November 27, 2002 until MIDNIGHT Thursday, 28 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 Members of the public can phone 1 800 654 443 or their local NSW Rural Fire Service Fire Control Centre for more information.
The Rural Fires Act 1997 – Section 99 (2) states: “As soon as practicable after making a direction under this section, the Minister is … (a) to cause notice of the direction to be broadcast by a television or radio station transmitting to the part or parts of the State concerned and in a newspaper circulating in those parts”
FOR MEDIA ONLY: For more information or interviews regarding fire danger & fire safety:
Duty Media Officer 02 9898 1855

Source: NSWRural Fire Service

Statewide Fire Update 27 November 2002of NSW


More than 1500 firefighters are working on 56 fires that have burned more than 470,000 hectares across NSW.

Firefighters from the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), State Forests (SF), NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) will be working on these fires today.

Total fire bans have been declared for the North West Plains, North West Slopes, Hunter, and Northern Rivers weather districts.Weather conditions yesterday were very hot with strong winds and thunderstorm activity developing in the afternoon.The weather today is expected to remain hot and dry. The fires of most concern are the Killingsworth fire in the Lake Macquarie area and the Touga fire in the Shoalhaven area.

Lake Macquarie – Killingsworth fire

The Killingsworth fire in the Lake Macquarie area, has burned one house and three factories at Blackall Park, and a shed at Fennel Bay. The fire has burned 3,800 hectares since it started yesterday and is now being controlled.

Today crews will be working on constructing containment lines and containing two spotovers that occurred last night. A backburn is being put in place to contain a spotover on the southwest side of the fire and tankers are working on a spotover on the northern side.

Londonderry/ Llandilo

The Londondery fire has burned more than 1,265 hectares and six sheds at Llandilo since it was ignited yesterday and is now contained

Crews worked yesterday on property protection for rural residential properties around Londonderry, Lllandilo, Berkshire Park and successfully protected approximately 700 homes.

Crews worked overnight to mop up and patrol the fire and this will continue today.

Great Lakes – Karuah

The Branch Lane fire, 4km north of Karuah, has burned 2,200 hectares since it started on 24 November and is being controlled.
Crews yesterday worked on property protection around the Karuah River and along the Pacific Highway. More than 40 homes at North Arm Cove were successfully protected and only eight outbuildings and two uninhabited caravans were burned.
Crews worked overnight to put in a backburn on the northern edge of the fire, and spotovers on the eastern side of the fire towards Carrington have been contained.
Today crews will focus on strengthening containment lines and containing the southwest side and mopping up.
The Pacific Highway is open.

Shoalhaven – Touga fire

The Touga fire, west of Nowra, has burned 46,000 hectares of Morton National Park since it was ignited on 8 November 2002 and is going.
Yesterday crews worked on property protection and containment lines in the Douglas Paddock and Sassafras areas and upgrading the Endrick Fire Trail.
Today crews will put in backburns to strengthen containment lines near the Endrick River
on the southwestern side of the fire and near the Tolwong Creek. The Sassafras area will be monitored today and the Braidwood and Tolwong Roads are closed.


The Blaxlands Arm fire, southwest of Laguna, has burned 265 hectares since it started on 24 November and is being controlled.
Crews worked yesterday to contain the northern side of the fire, and focussed on rural residential property protection in Blaxland Arm, Noulanans Arm and Fernances valleys,and the Simpsons Track, particularly the Rockbottom property.
Today crews will put in a backburn along the southeastern end of the fire, weather permitting, and will continue property protection and working on the northern containment line along the Boree track.
The George Downs Drive between Laguna and Bucketty remains closed.

Upper Hawkesbury

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 being controlled.
Yesterday crews worked on strengthening containment lines and this will continue today.


Three 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.
The Halfway fire, 9km southwest of Deua River, has burned 650 hectares and is contained.
Yesterday a fall back line was constructed. A backburn on the northwestern side will be deepened today and willincrease the size of the fire to 2,500 hectares.
The Jilliga fire, 25km northwest of Nerrigundah, has burned 130 hectares and is going.
Yesterday the fire was contained on the southwestern side and today crews will directly attack the norhwest and southwest sides.
The Winbenby fire, in the middle of the Deua National Park, has burned 800 hectares and is going in previously burned fireground.


The Titaatee Creek fire, 20km east of Gloucester, has burned 40 hectares, since it was ignited 25 November and is contained.
Crews worked yesterday to put in a backburn along a dozer line and ground crews will mop up and patrol the fire today.

Cabonne – Mason fire

The Mason fire, 10.5km northwest of Cudal, has burned 150 hectares, since it started on 24 November and is contained.
Yesterday crews worked on containment lines, mop up and patrol and this will continue today.


The Wellums Creek fire, in the Yengo National Park, 8km west south west of Mangrove Creek Dam, has burned 1,000 hectares since it started on 24 November and is going.
Yesterday crews worked on containment lines west of the Wrights Creek fire trail and spotovers early yesterday morning required crews to work on alternative containment strategies.
The fire crossed the Old Great North Road yesterday at a number of locations.
Today crews are monitoring aerial incendiary work west of Mangrove Creek and containment strategies east of Mangrove Creek.

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 contained.
Crews yesterday worked on patrolling and mopping up hot spots with aircraft waterbombing the fire and this will continue today.


The Gerringong fire, in the Budderoo National Park has burned 2,475 hectares since it started 24 November is being controlled.
Rain is falling on the fire ground today and crews on the northern side of the fire near Brogers Creek have been stood down.
The southern side of the fire is running towards Kings Creek and crews are backburning and mopping up in this area.

Source: NSW Rural FireService

Fire Weather Forecast for the Pacific Region

click here to enlarge (21 KB)

Fire Weather Index for the
Pacific Region for tomorrow.
(Source: ECPCFire Weather Index Forecast)

For more information on Australia see the IFFN country notes and have a look at the Australian and New Zealand links.
For background Information see also: Recent Media Highlights on Fire, Policies, and Politics

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