Firefighters containing south coast fire

Firefighters containing south coast fire

25 January 2009

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Australia — Firefighters are taking advantage of cooler weather to work on containment lines around a fire burning out of control in rugged bushland on the NSW south coast.

The fire has burnt out 1,128 hectares of the Budawang National Park, 30km from Bateman’s Bay, since it was sparked by a lightning storm on Tuesday.

Five aircraft worked on waterbombing and monitoring hot spots on Sunday, with around 60 firefighters on the ground.

A Rural Fire Service (RFS) spokeswoman said crews had managed some backburning overnight and throughout Sunday, helped by a cool change.

“It’s one of those fires that is difficult to access and difficult to contain,” she said.

“They (firefighters) will be there for some days yet.”

She said there were concerns about more predicted hot weather at the end of the week, especially if there was no rain over the next few days.

“They’re aiming to get as much containment work done as possible,” she said.

The fire is not threatening property.

The Western Distributor is closed to all but residents and emergency vehicles.

The Kings Highway is open but motorists should exercise caution, especially when driving through smoke.

The spokeswoman said the cool change had meant a quieter day for crews across NSW, which are fighting four active fires, have contained two and are patrolling 12 other firegrounds for flare-ups.

Sydney experienced a welcome drop in temperature from just over 40 degrees on Saturday to 25 in the city and 28 in the west.

The Bureau of Meteorology is warning residents in the Northern Tablelands, North West Slopes, North West Plains and parts of the Northern Rivers of the chance of severe thunderstorms later on Sunday, with the potential for flashflooding, hailstones and damaging winds.

Similar temperatures are predicted for Sydney on Monday, along with a chance of some light showers.

It’s expected to be 27 in the city and 31 in the west.

Showers are expected around the state on Monday, with tops of 38 expected in Broken Hill and Griffith, 37 in Wagga Wagga, 33 in Tamworth and a cooler 27 at Tweed Heads.

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