RFS crews patrol south Goulburn fire site 1pm to 10pm Friday


RFS crews continued patrols of the fire on the Goulburn bypass until about 10pm on Friday night.

While there were some minor flare-ups, fire fighters were quickly onto them.

The blaze was mostly extinguished by 5pm Friday.

The Hume family at Garroorigang had a scare on Friday afternoon when embers from the fire went into roof gutters at the historic Braidwood Rd homestead. However the owner and RFS quickly doused flames.

"I'm really proud of the crews," Mr Kennerley said.

"The fire really had potential to get out of hand but they did a great job."

Meantime, RFS Southern Tablelands also responded this morning to a vehicle accident on the Federal Highway, at the Shingle Hill Way intersection, in which a person was trapped. 


THE Hume Hwy has re-opened.


THE Hume Hwy between the north and south Goulburn exits is expected to be re-opened within minutes.

Southern Tablelands RFS zone operations manager Ian Kennerley is currently liaising with the RMS and police on a plan to re-open one lane in both directions.

Crews are still blacking out minor flare ups on the highway’s median, which is all that remains of the fire.

Mr Kennerley said the RFS and town brigades threw every available resource at the blaze.

At its peak, 130 RFS personnel, including 20 units from the Southern Tablelands, five from Wingecarribee and a strike force of five vehicles from Gunning were fighting the outbreak. This was on top of aerial appliances.

“The reason there was so much black smoke was the amount of green grass around, coupled with the high temperature and strong winds,” Mr Kennerley said.

But he said the area was drying out quickly and it would be a different story in a few weeks. The RFS will be re-assessing conditions at that time.

Crews will stay on scene mopping up. The wind is not expected to drop until later, but Mr Kennerley says in some respects this is a good thing as personnel can more easily see any flare-ups.


THE fire has destroyed 20ha of land at the South Hill property on Garroorigang Rd, owner Roland Gumbert reports.

Despite earlier hopes it would be kept at bay, the blaze came within 20m of the historic homestead. 

It also partially damaged a chook shed, but Mr Gumbert said this was minor.

The fire burnt out about half the property and destroyed some fences. Mr Gumbert said he had mowed around the house only yesterday, so the flames "fizzled out", despite the wind gusting in all directions.

"We had a lot of units here working really well so it was never totally out of control. They were just fantastic," Mr Gumbert said.

Some four units were at the house with tankers coming and going to replenish water stocks. 

South Hill also houses a well known art gallery.

"Linda [my wife] was very stressed about it, but I thought, 'It's just a house'. Art works need to be changed constantly, anyway," Mr Gumbert said. 


THE fire at south Goulburn has now been contained. Multiple fire crews are working up and down the south and northbound lanes of the Hume Hwy, blacking out hot spots.

The RFS is calling for bulk water supply to the scene as stocks are running low. However there’s no indication yet of when the highway might be re-opened.

Aerial appliances that earlier water bombed the fire have been called off.

A southerly change is not expected through until at least 8pm.


POLICE are maintaining a strong presence at local roads closed due to the fire.

Residents are reporting long lines of traffic travelling through town due to the Hume Hwy's closure between the northern and southern Goulburn exits.

Police have confirmed that Garroorigang Rd, Braidwood Rd, Brisbane Grove Rd and a section of Mundy St are closed. They have also blocked Finlay Rd at Sloane St due to the amount of smoke billowing over.

While motorists can travel south to Canberra, all northbound highway traffic is being diverted through Goulburn.


SOUTHERN Tablelands zone operations manager Ian Kennerley says the fire is being controlled.

To date it has burnt out about 60ha.

A water bombing helicopter from Camden and aerial appliance from Richmond have water bombed critical spots.

Mr Kennerley said crews were working the southern and northern flanks of the fire quite successfully and the blaze was holding on the eastern side, near the railway line.

“Units are still working hard on a finger of fire on the north flank of the highway,” he said.

So far, one shed, believed to be on the South Hill property, has been damaged, but Mr Kennerley was unsure of the extent.

Strong winds are still proving a major challenge. Mr Kennerley said a weather change wasn’t expected until 10-11pm tonight and he expected firefighters would be working hard until sundown.

Twenty-five tankers from the Goulburn area, Wingecarribee and Gunning are currently on scene.


POST journalist Darryl Fernance is onsite at the fire and said it is moving in a north easterly direction along the highway and "crowning as it goes," taking out several trees.

He said that he'd been advised that a DC-3 water bomber was on its way.

Meanwhile the redirection of traffic back into Goulburn has exacerbated the already hectic Friday afternoon traffic and is now banking up across town.

Cars and trucks are backed up on several major roads and streets, including across intersections, and vehicles stuck down side streets are being blocked from entering traffic.

Traffic is particularly heavy on Sloane St, Auburn St, Bourke St, Hume St and Clinton St.


SOUTH Hill property owner Roland Gumbert said there were fires to the left and right of his place on Garrorigang Rd, but as far as he could see, the blaze was under control.

“We don’t have any damage to our place, except for perhaps fences,” he said.

“I can see some stumps burning (not on his property) but all our buildings and equipment are fine.”

Mr Gumbert praised the quick action of firefighters and police. The latter were still at his property and the general area ready to evacuate people if necessary.

“But I think that’s very unlikely,” he said.

NSW Southern Tablelands RFS zone manager Ian Kennerley said 70 personnel and 20 appliances were onsite and that the fire has jumped the highway and over to South Hill and was heading towards the river and the railway line.

Mr Kennerley was confident crews were starting to get on top of the fire and was hoping for a drop in the wind.

NSW Fire and Rescue are currently water-bombing South Hill near the homestead where several tankers are onsite to battle the flame. They are also water-bombing the northern side of the highway as trees are alight.


SENIOR reporter Louise Thrower says property owners at the back of the Workers Arena are hosing down boundaries to repel advancing flames.

Residents have said they understand the fire started when a trailer travelling on the Hume Hwy became unhinged and spilled its load on the median strip.

The trailer was loaded with flammable chemicals, the residents said, and the flames quickly spread from the median strip up the hill towards Goulburn.

Emergency personnel are on site to fight the fire. Please avoid the bypass at the southern interchange; the Hume Hwy is closed to traffic in both directions.


THE Transport Management Centre advises the Hume Highway has been closed in both directions around Goulburn because of a grass fire burning in the median strip near the bypass's southern interchange.

The TMC advises motorists to avoid the area or expect diversions through the Goulburn township with additional travel time required.

Emergency services are on site working to put the fire out and traffic crews are also responding. More information will be made available as it comes to hand.


THE Rural Fire Service has confirmed there is a fire in a paddock near the Hume Highway in South Goulburn.

The small grass fire is being contained in the area near the south Goulburn McDonalds.

The RFS is in attendance on the bypass just north of the southern interchange off the Hume Hwy.

Northbound traffic is at a standstill and excessive smoke is pouring across the road, make visibility low to nil.

Police and the fire brigade are on scene and emergency personnel are asking people to avoid the area if possible.

A Total Fire Ban is in effect today as the weather is hot and windy.

Report any other sightings of smoke or flame by telephone to 000.


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