Rainfall eases firefighters' fears

A firefighter battles a blaze in Sydney's Pittwater. Photo / Glenn Nicholls
A firefighter battles a blaze in Sydney's Pittwater. Photo / Glenn Nicholls

Cooler temperatures and lighter winds yesterday helped New South Wales firefighters extinguish or contain several bushfires and grassfires that had threatened communities across the state.

Rain fell at the large Warrumbungle blaze near Coonabarabran in NSW's northwest, easing fears it would again threaten property after destroying 51 homes in the past week.

Yesterday at 4pm more than 1000 firefighters were battling 127 fires, 22 of them uncontained, after favourable weather helped them put out 15 fires earlier in the day.

A Rural Fire Service spokesman said the Yarrabin fire, burning for a week in the Cooma-Monaro area, was finally contained along with a grassfire near Boorowa on the state's South West Slopes and a bushfire at Aberdare in the Hunter region.

A fire in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park just north of Sydney was uncontained but a backburn was working.

Reconnaissance flights yesterday checked for new fires sparked by a lightning band that crossed the state on Friday.

In Victoria, nine homes had been destroyed and one man had died in the 53,000ha fire which began on Thursday morning.

The fire was now slow-moving, with several fronts, in mainly forest country, more than 200km east of Melbourne.

The town of Licola, where 10 residents and 30 firefighters remained, was still isolated but not under immediate threat.

Fourteen aircraft, 70 fire trucks and about 500 fire personnel were involved.

Authorities had not released the name of the fire victim whose body was found in a burned out vehicle in the Seaton area at 5pm on Friday.

The fire started in the Baw Baw National Park near Aberfeldy on Thursday morning. It was 950ha s at 7pm on Thursday but overnight Thursday it reached 12,000ha.

Anguished locals desperate to check damage from the huge bushfire last night began heading back to their properties in Seaton and Glenmaggie.

- Herald on Sunday

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