Lithgow Rural Fire Firefighters providing assistance to Mudgee fires

EXHAUSTED: RFS crews take a break during a battle with a large grass fire near Wollar. Firefighters from Chifley are assisting in the area. Photo: Wolter Peeters.
EXHAUSTED: RFS crews take a break during a battle with a large grass fire near Wollar. Firefighters from Chifley are assisting in the area. Photo: Wolter Peeters.

LITHGOW firefighters are providing relief and assistance to local emergency services battling fires burning near Mudgee, Coolah and Leadville after catastrophic fire conditions over the weekend.

Twenty-five Rural Fire Service (RFS) firefighters and two strike team leaders travelled to Mudgee on Monday morning to assist crews in the area. More firefighters from the Chifley and Lithgow area are expected to assist in Mudgee on Tuesday and later in the week depending on the need. 

Chifley Fire Control Centre operational officer Gary Hansen said staff from the Chifley centre had also been sent to assist the incident management team. 

On Monday morning both the Kains Flat Fire, near Wollar, and the Sir Ivan Fire east of Dunedoo were at Watch and Act Level with a heightended level of threat and changing conditions. 

The RFS said the Sir Ivan fire was not contained and was moving north towards Leadville and Coolah. It had already burned 41,650 hectares of land by early on Monday morning. 

"The fire is currently burning to the east of Dunedoo moving in a northerly direction towards Black Stump Way, Leadville and Coolah," a RFS spokesman said.​

"Although conditions are easing, people in the area should remain vigilant and prepared to implement their bushfire survival plan.

"Follow the directions of firefighters. Telecommunications may be disrupted in the area due to power outages."

Closer to home the Rural Fire Service were called to five minor fires in the area which were controlled quickly.  Mr Hansen said having crews on standby was the key to managing fires in the area over the weekend. 

“With the weekend that just went like it was we had crews on standby ready to attend any fires and they were able to respond very quickly to ensure any fires didn’t become a major threat to life and property. 

“It’s also the public heading the warnings and not doing any unnecessary things outside that may start a fire.” 

Member for Dubbo and Emergency Services Minister Troy Grant said the weekend’s conditions were “unprecedented” but there was a feeling of some respite with the cool change that came in on Sunday evening.