RURAL Fire Service firefighters are battling out-of-control blazes near Copeton Dam, Tingha and Crooble.
The Crooble fire broke out yesterday and the Copeton Dam and Tingha (Long Gully) fires started on Thursday afternoon.
Namoi/Gwydir RFS Inspector Brett Loughlin said crews were fighting a “hard battle” yesterday afternoon with the Copeton Dam fire, which had burned 50 hectares.
Four fire trucks, supported by a bulldozer, two fixed-wing bombers and a helicopter were working on the blaze.
“The objective is to keep that fire as slow as possible to allow the dozer to get in around it and put some solid breaks in,” Inspector Loughlin said.
“Winds have been a bit variable, so they’re having to deal with flare-ups, but thanks to the proximity to Copeton Dam, the helicopter has a quick turnaround.”
The Crooble fire broke out in paddocks of stubble and crops about 3.30pm yesterday with firefighters battling a 2km fire front.
There are up to seven fire trucks at the fire from all around the area including Croppa Creek, Pallamallawa, Oodnadatta and Crooble, supported by a fixed- wing water-bomber.
“It’s another one of these dynamic fires, but there are no reports of assets under danger and we have no idea how this started as yet,” he said.
The blaze south of Tingha at Long Gully was tended to by seven RFS trucks and crew members yesterday.
As of yesterday afternoon, it had burned more than 120 hectares and the crews back-burned in the early afternoon.
There was also a bulldozer on site and a helicopter mapping the fire.
Northern Tablelands RFS crews assisted New England region firefighters at Tingha and Namoi/Gwydir crews at the Copeton Dam fire.
Cheecum Rd is under control with the landowners responsible for monitoring it and Caroda Rd
is still presenting challenges because of the terrain it’s burning in.
Crews dealt with a small flare-up yesterday and it will be monitored for severalmore days.
More Rural Fire Service firefighters from Tamworth left yesterday to help out their mates in the Muswellbrook and Singleton region.
Tamworth RFS Superintendent Allyn Purkiss said Strike Team Charlie left for Muswellbrook yesterday with 11 firefighters.
They will have a five day deployment fighting fires in the forests around Singleton and Muswellbrook and will return Tuesday morning.
The crew they are relieving return this morning.
Superintendent Purkiss they did not have any fire issues yesterday with a small grass fire in Moonbi quickly contained in the morning and Bob’s Creek fire at patrol status for a few more days.
Specialist aviation trained volunteers have also been sent to Sydney including air-based operators and flight radio.