'Gobsmacked': 600 firefighters battle winter bushfires in NSW

17 Agosto, 2018, 10:39 | Author: Misty Newman
  • Australia fires Two large blazes are being battles in New South Wales

Three teenage boys have been charged after allegedly lighting a fire during a total fire ban in the Blue Mountains yesterday, NSW Police say.

More than 800 firefighters were battling more than 80 fires across the state, with 50 of those not contained.

A spokesman for Bega Valley Shire Council said the fire at Bemboka was mainly burning through national park, and fire crews were hampered by the hard, rough and dry terrain.

The teens attempted to smother the blaze; however, it spread and firefighters from Fire & Rescue NSW were called to extinguish it before it spread into bushland.

Meanwhile, homes were evacuated near Milton, south of Sydney, with residents such as retired potter Susan Curran and her mother taking shelter with friends in town.

Hundreds of residents have been evacuated and there are now 40 crews on the ground and aviation support including a helicopter flying overhead to help battle the blaze. A neighbour has brought her dogs and cats into the house.

"You could hear all the gas cylinders in there exploding", she said.

NWS RFS deputy commissioner Rob Rogers said earlier a shed has been destroyed in North Nowra but it is still unclear whether any other structures have been damaged.

The driest start to a year in NSW since 1965 has set the state up not only for a worsening drought but elevated the risk of bushfires.

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Four firefighters were injured while battling a blaze in Caparra near Taree on Wednesday night.

Strong winds and dry conditions are now making flames spread in Ulladulla and Bega Valley in New South Wales (NWS), Australia.

"It had been burning for a few days, but we weren't concerned at all", he said.

Ms Curran said the ground near Milton is "dry as, it's crunchy underfoot".

She said while gusty winds were normal in winter, she couldn't remember the last time bush or grassfires were a threat.

Fire crews had already been on high alert with warm and windy weather forecast across the state.

"It's right on them now", he said.

Mr Crawford urged rural property owners to reduce fuel loads and ensure firebreaks were free of vegetation.

While on the weekend, fires at Tallegalla, Mutdapilly, Ballandean and Linville, in the state's southeast, threatened properties and burned through hundreds of hectares.

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