A team of local fire fighters are battling fires in the north as smoke from the Buckyjumba fire in the Eurobodalla creates a haze over Eden.
Four Pambula Rural Fire Service members have joined a squad of Bega Valley firies on a five day deployment to help protect Sydney’s western suburbs following the issue of a Disaster Declaration Order by NSW premier Barry O’Farrell on Sunday.
Families in the affected areas were told to prepare to flee or face forced evacuations on Wednesday following concerns from authorities that the Mount Victoria fire, the State Mine fire near Lithgow and the Springwood fire at the base of the Blue Mountains would combine into one 300km fire front.
Superintendent John Cullen from the RFS Far South Coast team said volunteers responded from Cobargo, Quaama, Numbugga, Bega, Bemboka, Jellat and Candelo to relieve northern crews.
Some volunteers are retired, self-employed or farmers, and others have taken a leave of absence with the support of employers to travel to the Blue Mountains.
“Three heavy tankers, two strike team leaders and a total of 11 crew have left from the Bega Valley,” Spt Cullen said.
“They will spend one day travelling and three days in the field based from Penrith,” Mr Cullen said.
“The crews from down here will be working during the day on containment and at night their vehicles will be deployed with other crews on board as tankers are needed around the clock.”
Bega RFS spokesperson Marty Webster said locally, the RFS was monitoring lightning strikes from Tuesday’s thunderstorm.
“Perico and Towamba got absolutely peppered with lightning strikes,” he said.
“We’ve had crews from Towamba and Burragate and the Forest Corporation of New South Wales out but they have confirmed there’s nothing there,” he said.
He said while Wednesday was forecast to be the worst day this season, there was no room for complacency.
“The fire season traditionally travels from north to south,” he said.
“We really want residents on the Far South Coast to take this as a warning as to what they may expect in the future.”
Mr Webster said regular meetings were also being held Victorian authorities, who are experiencing wetter conditions than the Far South Coast.