Fire outlook improves

RFS Blue Mountains Superintendent David Jones said the Mt York fire in the Blue Mountains was now “declared out” and the immediate threat at Links View had “reduced significantly”.

The State Mine fire at Lithgow however was not likely to be declared out for “another week” said RFS Lithgow Superintendent Greg Wardle.

With continued cooler temperatures and more rain predicted, Supt Jones was hopeful by the end of next week the Linksview Road fire which was “on patrol status” would be out.

“It’s a day by day proposition but by early next week that fire could be out, by then we should be in a good position,” Supt Jones said.

“The rain is helping to extinguish the last remnants of these fires but it will take a couple of days of this weather to fully extinguish everything,” he told the Gazette late Monday.

“All brigades are still on standby, as is the National Parks and Wildlife Services remote area fires team and of course it is all weather dependent if the weather changes and we get another long hot spell... but I’m feeling confident about the weather, there’s the potential for a little bit of rain, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday next week,” he said.

The State Mine Fire at Lithgow has burnt a total area of 56,590 hectares. The Linksview Road fire, where more than 100 homes were damaged and 200 destroyed, has burnt out 3623 hectares and the Mt York fire has burnt 9076 hectares.

Lithgow Superintendent Wardle, whose focus is now on the Howes Swamp fire in the Hawkesbury, said rain over the past 24 hours had “greatly assisted us in Lithgow and allowed us to put the fire ‘on patrol’ but it is so dry in our neck of the woods, 15 to 20 mm of rain won’t last long and the next hot and windy day we will be back to where we were, but it’s looking good for the rest of the week.”

He said, “we’ll monitor the State Mine fire for another week before we declare it out”.

By Monday night, Katoomba has received 61mm, Springwood had 38mm and Lithgow 22mm.

Rural Fire Service firefighter Grant Paisley from Arcadia RFS during a back burn operation near homes in Winmalee on October 18. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

Rural Fire Service firefighter Grant Paisley from Arcadia RFS during a back burn operation near homes in Winmalee on October 18. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

This story Fire outlook improves first appeared on Blue Mountains Gazette.

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