Cutting bushfire risk: the scientist's view
Bushfire risk expert Trent Penman explains how to minimize the chances of a bushfire reaching your property.PT5M55S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-30u7d 620 349 January 15, 2014
Homes are believed to have been lost in a fire at Minnimbah, near Wagga Wagga, after lightning sparked dozens of fires around New South Wales overnight.
More than 240 firefighters are working with three fixed-wing aircraft and one helicopter to contain the fire in the Carabost area, which is out of control.
On Sunday morning, fire crews used bulldozers and heavy plant equipment to cut containment lines around the fire on Shockeroo Road, to the east on Carabost road and to the south from Little Billabong to Volkins Road.
So far, it has burnt 7320 hectares of land, including 520 hectares of state forest and pine plantation.
Conditions at the firefront were calm this morning, but firefighters were expecting an increase in wind this afternoon, which could hamper efforts.
Backburning will continue today ahead of the expected deterioration in weather conditions.
A number of isolated properties in the Humula, Carabost and Little Billabong areas remain under threat.
About 1am, the fire was upgraded to Emergency Warning status and telephone alerts issued for people in the Carabost area, with residents told to evacuate to Tarcutta.
But the fire has since been downgraded to Watch and Act.
Aircraft have been deployed on some major firegrounds across the state to detect new fires through infrared scanning, and to determine if there is any further danger to homes.
"The number of fires jumped from around 30 to around 100 burning at the peak of things last night," a spokesman from NSW Rural Fire Service said.
"Eighty six of those are still burning - of those twenty four are uncontained."
NSW RFS spokesman Joel Kursawe said lightning strikes were believed to have started 50 new fires across the state.
He said firefighters battling major fires in southern NSW dealt with very erratic conditions. Flames reached 20 metres.
"Last night because of the south-westerly change coming through the south, the fire behaviour was very, very erratic for firefighters on the scene," he told AAP.
"There are cooler and calmer conditions this morning but that will change as the day goes on - that's just summer."
There are 900 firefighters out across NSW with 93 active fires.
- with The Daily Advertiser and AAP