AUSTRALIA – AN out-of-control 100 hectare bush fire is burning off Mendooran north of Mudgee.
The blaze is burning off Forest Road and is in the Dubbo Regional Council area.
The NSW Rural Fire Service states that the fire is currently at ‘watch and act’ level and that which means there is a heightened level of threat.
Conditions are changing and you need to start taking action now to protect you and your family.
Dubbo Regional Council has advised road closures are likely to be in place overnight as a result of the Forest Road Fire.
For traffic heading south from Mendooran towards Dubbo, the Mendooran Road is closed at Mendooran, and traffic is being diverted to Gilgandra or Dunedoo.
For traffic heading north from Dubbo towards Mendooran, the Mendooran Road is closed at the Mendooran Road/ Mogriguy Road intersection to through traffic.
For residents who live along Mendooran Road north of the Mendooran Road/Mogriguy intersection, access is permitted up to the intersection of Mendooran Road and Freeman’s Trail, where the Mendooran Road is closed to all traffic north of this intersection.
Dubbo MP Troy Grant has praised the crews who have responded to the blaze.
“Once again we’ve seen the worst in nature bringing out the best in our firefighting ranks,” Mr Grant said.
Once again we’ve seen the worst in nature bringing out the best in our firefighting ranks.
Dubbo MP Troy Grant
“Crews were on the scene very quickly and undertaking work but unfortunately when you have conditions like those witnessed on Thursday it can make fighting a blaze difficult.
“Temperatures were in the high 30s to early 40s, winds were high, and unfortunately they are the conditions that promote fires to start and spread quickly.
“This fire went from being categorised as “active” to “watch and act” in a short space of time, such was the ferocity of it. It spread quickly and jumped Mendooran Road just a matter of hours after it ignited.
“This kind of event shows how lucky we are to have the Large Air Tanker (LAT) on standby at Dubbo Airport, and being able to deploy it so quickly has helped the firefighting effort.
“It’s expected to be a long, hot and dry summer so please remember all the fire safety messages and always heed the warnings of emergency service agencies when fires do break out.”
The Rural Fire Service has warned a thunderstorm passing over the region could bring erratic wind gusts of up to 90 kilometres per hour over the fire ground, making their job even harder.
A forecast wind change is expected in the area between 6pm and 8pm.
The watch and act alert remains in place.
A watch and act alert has been issued for a fire that has burned through 100 hectares in the Goonoo National Park south of Mendooran.
In a post to social media, the Rural Fire Service said there was no immediate threat to properties, but urged residents to monitor the conditions, and to take advice from firefighters.
The Forest Road fire, about 50 kilometres north-east of Dubbo, is burning its way towards the Ballimore area, with Mendooran road currently closed to traffic.
A large air tanker has been tasked to assist crews responding to the fire.
The blaze comes as the region has sweltered to its hottest day so far this summer, with a top of 40.6 degrees, and wind gusts of 69 kilometres per hour, recorded at nearby Dubbo on Thursday afternoon.