Rain on fireground

There remains some active fire in the Long Plain area.

Riverina Highlands RFS District Coordinator Peter Jones says the majority of the Dunns Road fire edge has been quelled, except for the eastern edge south of Goobarragandra in the Kosciuszko National Park extending as far as Long Plain.

At latest count 139 houses have been destroyed in the Dunns Road fire, along with 38 facilities and 354 outbuildings.

Of those, 37 homes and 138 outbuildings were around Batlow, four homes around Laurel Hill, seven around Tumbarumba, six at Talbingo, four at Kunama, four at Wondalga and two in Courabyra.

However, only 60 per cent of the area has been assessed.

Containment lines are established in the Bogong Peaks Wilderness area on the Broken Cart Trail and Long Plain Road.

Mr Jones said fire authorities were expecting more rain on this portion of the fire.

“We had some today (Thursday) but it was not enough,” he said.

Mr Jones said that it would be an economic disaster if the fire got into the Bondo State Forest due to the loss of pine.

“But this is still in a containment area,” Mr Jones said.

 “We are confident the fire will remain where it is in the park, and that rain will aid our cause.”

Lightning struck an unburnt area north of Wondalga yesterday afternoon, but there are containment lines in the area and crews quickly responded.  

“There is also an active edge at Mount Garland south of Tumbarumba, but that is under control, as conditions have eased and crews are on top,” Mr Jones said.

There is the potential for thunderstorm in and around Tumut and Tumbarumba over the coming days with decent amounts of much-needed rain also forecast.

Both Tumut and Tumbarumba received some welcome rain yesterday and Tumut’s temperature peaked at 32 degrees.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), less rainfall is predicted for today, only a 50% chance of 0 to 4 mm, and the maximum temperature is meant to drop slightly to 29 degrees.

There is however the chance of a thunderstorm and winds of between 25 to 40km/h will hit the area from an easterly direction.

There is the chance of a small shower on Saturday, but it is Sunday into Monday where we can expect to see the most decent rainfall.

For Sunday, there is a 70% chance of 2 to 8mm and Monday should bring between 15 and 30mm.

Temperatures across the weekend are hovering around the 33 degree mark.

BoM meteorologist, Helen Kirkup, said the predicted thunderstorms could increase the risk of flash flooding on fire-affected ground.

“There’s a chance of flash flooding due to thunderstorms, more so on fire affected areas where the water will run off because it is very hard for it to soak in because of the ash on the ground,” Ms Kirkup said.

“Another issue is that where fires have been, trees are weaker, meaning it takes less wind to make them fall. This makes fire affected areas more susceptible to falling trees.

“This weekend we will get higher humidity levels, which will mean that fires will be less active, but it will take a decent amount of rainfall and follow up rain for firefighters to get on top of these fires,” she said.

Ms Kirkup also said that over the coming days, there is the potential for large hailstones in mountain regions.

The RFS had the following advice yesterday (Thursday):

Favourable conditions are expected across the fireground for the next week, which will assist with firefighting efforts and containment line consolidation.

Tumbarumba

Firefighters are focused on containing fire activity to the south of the township in the Mt Garland area. Some rain (about 10mm) has been receive over the fireground yesterday afternoon easing conditions.

Residents are advised they can return to their homes as there is no threat of fire.

Adelong

There is still some active fire in the Ellerslie area, though it is not expected to break containment lines. Members of the community will continue to see a number of trucks in the area this week as crews work to directly attack active fire and black out fire across the remainder of the fireground.

Batlow

Fire has passed through the area, building impact teams are continuing to assess properties for safety, residents can expect to see trucks and fire crews but there is no fire threat to the town.

Talbingo

Fire has burnt through this area and is no longer a threat. Residents may see smoke from nearby fire activity to the East but should not be alarmed. People are advised to remain away from the area until it has been deemed clear of safety risks such as falling burnt out trees.

Khancoban

There is currently no threat to the Khancoban area. Residents will see smoke from active fire within the area. There are crews in the area monitoring conditions. Residents are advised to monitor conditions closely. Roads in the Khancoban area remain closed.

Jingellic

There is currently no threat to Jingellic. Residents will see smoke from nearby fire activity and should remain alert, not alarmed. Monitor conditions closely.

Cabramurra

Fire has burnt through this area and is no longer a threat. The public are advised to remain away from the area until it has been deemed clear of safety risks such as falling burnt out trees.

Goobarragandra and Brindabella

Fire continues to burn in the Bogong Peaks wilderness to the south. It’s a slow moving fire but very active, however, rain was experienced on the fireground yesterday afternoon and conditions have slowed the progress. Monitor conditions closely and be ready to action your bush fire survival plan.