The New Year arrived with a heatwave, and it has been a tense week in the Braidwood district as fires raged to the south at Numeralla, east at the end of Main Road 92 and north west at Mulloon.
After emergency telephone and text messages were sent out and the temperatures soared, many residents in bush areas around Braidwood came into town for safety.
The Sand Hills Fire at Mulloon closed the Kings Highway for several days, burnt out 1386 ha and came perilously close to houses on Hazeldell Road.
On Friday four tankers and a helicopter took no chances and jumped onto a small grass fire on the Nerriga Road at Callan’s Lane.
The cooler change and some light rain on Sunday evening helped firefighters contain the fires after days of high alert.
The Deans Gap fire 30km SSW of Nowra including Braidwood Road and Princes Hwy near Wandandian in the Shoalhaven is now ‘being controlled’ but has burnt out 8,495 ha.
The ‘Yarrabin’ fire approximately 14km SSE Numeralla and 30km north of Nimmitabel in the Cooma-Monaro Shire is now being controlled but has burnt out 12,185 ha.
Member for Monaro, John Barilaro, has praised the continued tireless efforts of landholders, NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW Fire Brigade and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service in combating the fire activity in the Yarrabin Fire area near Numeralla.
"For over a week the hard work of local staff and volunteers has prevented the loss of life in the East Monaro region and brought the fire threat under control," Mr Barilaro said.
The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted more hot days ahead and fire conditions are still a major concern.
Essential Energy is reminding volunteers to stay safe near the electricity network while helping Australians in need. Essential Energy’s regional general manager South Eastern, Phillip Green, said safety should be the top priority for the half a million volunteers across Australia who respond to emergency situations.
“The number of natural disasters Australia has experienced over the past few years proves how much we need volunteers – now more than ever,” Phillip said.
“In the case of extreme heat, bushfires and severe storms, volunteers must remember to be vigilant around the electricity network as damaged or sagging powerlines pose an electrical hazard not only to them but to the general public as well.”
Volunteers are reminded to keep at least eight metres away from the lines, or any object they may be touching, until Essential Energy crews have disconnected the power.
The Braidwood Times has been monitoring the fire situations throughout the district and posting updates to the Braidwood Times Facebook page, and rolling coverage on www.braidwoodtimes.com.au, including notices of park closures and road closures.
Temporary closure of SCA recreation areas this Friday
The Sydney Catchment Authority (SCA) will temporarily close its recreation areas on Friday 18 January 2013 due to high risk weather conditions across the catchment areas and the declaration of a total fire ban.
The recreation areas that will be temporarily closed include:
• Warragamba Dam
• Upper Nepean Dams - Cataract, Cordeaux, Avon, Nepean • Woronora Dam • Fitzroy Falls Reservoir• Wingecarribee Reservoir• Warri Bridge Reserve, Stuarts Crossing and Little Bombay in Braidwood.Bendeela Camping Ground and Tallowa Dam in the Kangaroo Valley will remain open, but may be closed if weather conditions deteriorate.