The Tumut Common fire has been contained and a crime scene established as police and fire authorities launch an investigation into the cause of the blaze that threatened homes on Tumut’s western edge yesterday.
The blaze ignited from an abandoned car and has currently blackened 76 hectares to the west of town.
Peter Jones, from the Riverina Highlands RFS, told Sounds of the Mountains’ David Eisenhauer this morning that crews had done some amazing work over night, using dozers to establish a break around the fire and contain the blaze.
He praised the efforts of fire-fighters, which came together quickly from multiple agencies to ensure no homes or property was lost.
“We had a lot of people working on this fire very quickly,” Mr Jones said.“I’d like to thank all the agencies involved.
“Things are looking a lot better this morning.”
The bush common area and much of the Wereboldera state conservation area is currently off limits as fire authorities and police undertake investigations.
Mr Jones said the area wasn’t safe, with trees falling under the stress of the heat and fire.
He advised people living on the western edge of town – around Harris and Yaralla Streets – to continue to monitor the situation over the coming days, but said at this stage, the edge of the fire is “quite safe”.
“We have quite a good break there,” Mr Jones said.
Residents can expect the smoke haze to continue for the near future.
“It won’t get any better for a while,” Mr Jones said. “People will smell this smoke for a number of days – there’s not a lot to flush it out in terms of wind changes or the like.
“There’s not only this fire, but fires to the north and south. We’re not the only communities impacted by smoke.”
Conditions, while more favourable than yesterday’s 40-plus degree temperatures, would remain in the 30s before moving upwards again towards the end of this week.
Crews will continue patrolling the fire today, overnight and the next couple of days, with the hope of giving them a break over Christmas, Mr Jones said.
People are advised to continue to monitor the situation via the NSW RFS website, the Fires Near Me app, and local radio stations.