Fire continues to burn across Bega shire; dry fuel inhibits firefighters' efforts

The remains of a house after the bushfire passed through the Cobargo region early this year. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos
The remains of a house after the bushfire passed through the Cobargo region early this year. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos

Fire continues to burn across the Bega Valley as the region's bushfire emergency nears its third week.

On Friday afternoon, NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Superintendent John Cullen updated the community on the active fireground at one of Bega Valley Shire Council's regular briefings where he also discussed the difficulty in combating the widespread blazes.

"These fuels are super dry, they're absolutely super dry through the drought conditions and lack of moisture," he said.

Also, he said when it came to fuel normally different aspects could hold fire; aspects facing to the south, wet gullies and rain forest area would stop a fire and give firefighters some advantage, but these current bushfires were burning straight through these areas so they had "no advantage".

Superintendent Cullen said the Border Fire had "already covered a lot of country" from Victoria to south of Eden and west towards the Snowy Monaro.

He said the fire was still burning in Nadgee and he expected it to burn to the ocean, while the RFS was performing back burning at Green Cape to lessen the risk in the area.

The Eden chip mill was still burning and he expected it would take another week to put out the woodchips that were on fire.

Superintendent Cullen said the RFS was conducting a lot of work around active fire in the the Nethercote area.

He said Mitchell Creek Rd was a "critical trail" the RFS was working on to take out a section of the fire - they did not want it to move into Egan Peaks in Burragate as that was "very difficult country to manage" - which was hoped to burn back into open country where a lot of communities were prepared.

He said there was also still active parts of the Border Fire south of Towamba as well as on the western border of the Bega Valley Shire.

Superintendent Cullen said the Werri Berri fire stretched from the top of Brown Mountain then west on Fastigata Rd and there had been fire between the dam and power station, but it was not very active anymore.

But he said fire was still active off the Jumping Creek Firetrail and Bemboka River Rd, although the RFS was working with the Cooma-Monaro district to extinguish these sections and he was "fairly comfortable" with that part of the fire.

Within the Badja Forest Road fire, active pockets of fire stretched from the Brogo Bridge to the region around Bermagui and there was also fire at Dignams Creek which the RFS was attempting to keep away from Gulaga.

Superintendent Cullen said the RFS was working on containment from Angledale to Biamanga Mountain, along with allowing fire to burn to the control lines then extinguishing it.

He said the country from Tanja to Bermagui had an enormous trail network and the RFS had a good opportunity to hold the fire around Doctor George Mountain and west of Bermagui.

He said the weather over the past few days had been misty and stormy, but he urged people not to drop their guard as there was still active fire in the shire.

Superintendent Cullen said this weather was expected to continue into the weekend, with Monday and Tuesday similar, but a cold westerly change was predicted to begin late Tuesday or Wednesday.

"If you're not sure about something report it because there's still a lot of fire in the landscape here," he said.

This story Fire continues to burn across Bega shire; dry fuel inhibits firefighters' efforts first appeared on Bega District News.

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