NSW RFS battling blazes ahead of severe fire dangers weather

FIREFIGHTERS are battling to contain a number of blazes burning before predicted hot, windy weather sweeps into the region.

The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has issued a total fire ban for Wednesday with the Central Ranges region in the grips of a severe fire danger risk.

Firefighters have been on scene at two large fires for a number of days and both are yet to be contained.

The largest is a 1333 hectare bushfire burning on Mount Canobolas near Orange, while a number of Bathurst crews are at the 1291 hectare Belerada Creek bushfire burning along Freemantle Road at Gowan.

Dozens of Chifley, Canobolas and out-of-area crews will work through the night on Tuesday to try and contain the fires before worsening weather conditions on Wednesday.

Canobolas RFS deputy incident controller of the Belerada Creek fire, Brett Bowden, said Chifley crews are working tirelessly at the scene.

“That fire started on Friday from a lightning strike,” he said. “We had a containment line around the fire on Saturday, but unfortunately there was gusty weather on Saturday afternoon and it broke containment lines.

“While we had resources there, it was just too quick.”

The biggest issue is the winds tomorrow [Wednesday].

RFS Chifley/Lithgow Team operational officer Gary Hansen

Mr Bowden said the blaze was burning through very steep terrain and access for ground crews was very difficult.

The fire is predominantly on two private properties, Belerada and Yankee Tom, and while there has been no structural damage, it has scorched paddocks and destroyed fences.

Around 15 tankers will continue to “black out” the perimeter of the fire on Tuesday night.

On Wednesday, they will be joined by another seven tankers as well as aerial support.

RFS Chifley/Lithgow Team operational officer Gary Hansen said the most recent fire to ignite was one along Wolgan Road in Wolgan Valley which started around 9pm on Monday.

Crews are attempting to contain it along the top of the escarpment.

“The biggest issue is the winds tomorrow [Wednesday],” he said.