Wambelong fire deliberately lit

A CORONIAL inquiry will resume today in Sydney into a catastrophic bushfire which wiped out much of a national park near Coonabarabran.

INQUIRY UNDER WAY: A Coonabarabran farmer surveys the remains of his burnt-out home after a 
devastating bushfire swept through the district in January last year. Photo: Jacky Ghossein

INQUIRY UNDER WAY: A Coonabarabran farmer surveys the remains of his burnt-out home after a devastating bushfire swept through the district in January last year. Photo: Jacky Ghossein

The Wambelong fire destroyed more than 50 homes and tens of thousands of hectares of property in 2013 when it was sparked in the Warrumbungles National Park.

The Siding Springs Observatory was badly damaged in the January blaze but luckily no lives were lost, although there were massive losses of livestock and wildlife in the ferocious fire.

A number of local Coonabarabran residents have travelled to the Coroner’s Court in Glebe to hear the evidence before Deputy State Coroner Hugh 

Dillon.

Earlier this week, the inquest was told the fire had been deliberately lit after the RFS conceded there had been no lightning strikes for a number of weeks.

The inquest has also heard that there had not been any planned hazard reductions for decades and there had been a lack of resources initially deployed to fight the fire.

The inquest, which will conclude on Friday before resuming in November, will look at what recommendations can be made into the future.

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