Wolgan Valley fire: Total fire ban and air quality warning | Photos

Wolgan Valley Fire

UPDATE 4.41pm Wednesday, February 14: 

NSW Rural Fire Service and Forestry Corporation crews continue to work to suppress the fire in Wolgan Valley.

The fire has grown slightly to the north east under the escarpment. 

The area is difficult to manage due to the hot, dry and windy conditions in now very steep terrain. 

Ground crews and aircraft will continue to focus on this area to control the fire.

More crews will be on site by 5pm today to assist.

Wolgan Road remains under controlled conditions whilst crews work to control the fire. 

EARLIER: 

The Wolgan Valley fire continues to burn out of control, covering an area of 12 hectares. 

A total fire ban is in place on Wednesday, February 14.

The Wolgan Road was closed by fallen trees but the Chifley-Lithgow Rural Fire Service RFS Chifley/Lithgow team operational officer Gary Hansen stated there was no threat to life or property at this time. 

“The fire activity is low and the weather is helping with that at the moment,” he said on Wednesday morning. 

A significant change is expected on Wednesday at about 10am-11am, with gusts between 30km/h-50km/h alongside a top temperature of 30-32 degrees. Parts of Western Sydney are expected to reach 40 degrees. 

The Wolgan Valley fire, which started on Monday night, has seen multiple Lithgow district fire crews in action for two days as well as National Parks and Wildlife firefighting teams. Six Forestry Corporation crews were on site on Wednesday.

The cause of the fire, which is burning in State Forest and Crown Land, is undetermined at this stage. 

On Tuesday, heavy plant, ground crews and aircraft fought the blaze in an effort to contain it before weather conditions were expected to deteriorate on Wednesday. An aircraft has been in action at the site on Wednesday morning. 

“The crews are carrying out close containment of the near edge of the fire, in the hope that when the winds arrive, there won’t be embers picked up, sparking other fires,” Hansen said. 

He urged people to monitor the situation, to take note of smoke and make sure they were prepared. 

“And if you don’t need to be near a fire, don’t be.”

Keep up to date with the Fires Near Me website. 

Air quality

A health warning was issued on Tuesday afternoon as smoke from bushfires across the Central West affected the Lithgow Valley. 

Smoke from bushfires in Mt Canobalas, Belerada Creek and the Wolgan Valley may affect air quality in and around Lithgow, Penrith and the Blue Mountain and people have been advised to heed warnings to stay indoors and avoid outdoor exercise.

Livestock

Land managers concerned about the health of their livestock have been asked to contact: 

  • District Vet Lucienne Downs 0417 043 966 
  • District Vet Amy Masters 0428 710 002 
  • Central Tablelands Local Land Services 1300 795 299 

For advice on livestock feeding if pastures have been burnt contact: 

  • Senior Lands Services Officer (Livestock) Brett Littler: 0427 007 398 

To report burnt or injured wildlife contact: 

  • WIRES: 1300 094 737

To stay up to date on the fires contact: 

  • NSW Rural Fire Service information line: 1800 679 737 

If your life is at risk contact 000 immediately. 

Firefighters praised

Chifley-Lithgow Rural Fire Service took to its Facebook page last night to praise its crews, who have been tasked with fighting fires at Belerada Creek near Bathurst as well as in the Wolgan Valley in the past few days. 

“To all Chifley/Lithgow crews, No matter what fire ground you were on in the last few days,you have all done a great job. Your hard work and dedication is what makes our team one of the best,” the post stated.