40 firefighters, three choppers battle fire near Tumut

Fire broke out west of Tumut this afternoon and is believed to have started at a private landfill at Gilmore. Photo: Kellie Stanfield.
There are three helicopters waterbombing. Photo: Kellie Stanfield

Local fire authorities say they’ve “thrown everything we have” at a fire near Tumut and are confident of containing the blaze.

About five to 10 hectares of private land, Tumut State Forest and the Wereboldera Conservation Area (National Park) has been burnt after a blaze broke out a few kilometres west of Tumut this afternoon.

Three water-bombing helicopters and three dozers have joined firefighters from Forestry NSW, National Parks, Hume Forests and some 10 RFS brigades, with about 40 personnel on the ground.

Riverina Highlands Rural Fire Service’s Peter Jones said authorities were “reasonably comfortable” with the present situation.

“As of right now, we’ve contained the northern and eastern edge of the fire,” Mr Jones said. “Temperatures are obviously high, but there’s no wind to speak of.

“There’s still mopping up to do, but as of now there’s no threat to the township of Tumut.”

The cause of the fire is still to be determined, but authorities believe it may have been a case of spontaneous combustion at a private landfill at Gilmore, with the fire then going on a run into bushland in steep terrain.

Update, Sunday January 24: The RFS has confirmed the fire was contained overnight.

Significant resources have been allocated to the fire.
The view from the Snowy Mountains Highway, from near the AKD Gilmore mill. Photo: Kellie Stanfield.