Southern Tablelands RFS has joined in the massive firefighting effort around Braidwood and the south coast.
The North Black Range Fire started late last week from a lightning strike in the Tallaganda National Park. It has burnt out more than 20,000 hectares west of Braidwood, and on Friday came within 5km of the town. The RFS issued an emergency warning as it also did for the Currowan fire, which has torn through more than 16,000ha north of Batemans Bay since starting late last week.
Southern Tablelands RFS incident controller George Shepherd said the zone had sent Superintendent Peter Alley as deputy incident controller to the Sholahaven blaze for five days. He arrived back on Tuesday.
On Friday, two strike teams, comprising 30 personnel, seven tankers and a group vehicle helped battle the Braidwood blaze. They arrived home on Saturday but were immediately replaced by crews on five tankers and a group vehicle. Mr Shepherd said that scale of resources would continue daily until Saturday.
"That's a major commitment from us," he said.
"The strike team that was sent to fires up north only flew back on Saturday. Our strike team of 15 and a group vehicle was in the Shoalhaven doing backburning and they came back on Sunday. I can't imagine we'll be sending any more there because they have strike teams from the South Coast, Illawarra and Country Fire Authority in Victoria."
At Braidwood, strong winds continued to create difficulties for those fighting the fire on Monday. On Monday afternoon they were gusting up to 85km/h. Cooler conditions overnight helped personnel create containment lines. On Tuesday it was being controlled and had been downgraded to advice as it continued to burn west of Braidwood between Forbes Creek and Cooma Road.
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Mr Shepherd said the zone also had community facilitators on the ground, giving information to landholders and liaising about what help was needed.
So far, the Southern Tablelands has escaped a major fire but Mr Shepherd said the blaze on Upper Lachlan Shire Council's border was close. On Monday it was sitting at 'watch and act' status.
He urged people to continue to be vigilant.
"We have a lot of scrub country in the zone that is very, very dry," he said.
Zone operations officer Lachlan Gilchrist said crews had been very proactive in reaching outbreaks quickly.
"But the weather patterns up north have been moving down this way, bringing with it increasing thunderstorm activity and lightning strikes," he said.
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