Answering the call

The impact of the Cobbler Road fire has been felt far and wide, as around 800 volunteers descended on the region to help battle the blaze.

Peter Dyce from the Rural Fire Service (RFS) said between Tuesday and Sunday there were around 250 truck movements on the fire ground, along with support from air crews.

He said there would need to be volunteers keeping an eye on the fire ground for a long time yet.

“Unfortunately this fire will [continue] to be a problem until we get decent rain,” he said.

The community education officer said the long days were really putting pressure on volunteers.

“That’s the name of the game I guess.”

The footprint of the fire has been revised back to just under 14,000 hectares, stretching from Jugiong to Devil’s Gap, 10km from Yass.

Mr Dyce said on Tuesday night crews came from the surrounding area to help attack the fire.

“On the first night they found themselves in… quite horrendous conditions. The fire was travelling at a very stiff pace.

“The first afternoon they were doing property protection. By Wednesday they were conducting backburning operations, looking after containment lines and general mopping up.

“That’s continued all week.”

The fire threat is not over, however, with crews running long hoses into the hills at Devil’s Gap in an attempt to get the fire under control.

“There’s still a lot of active fire in the steep, rough terrain there,” Mr Dyce said.

The flare ups aren’t a threat to property and are still within containment lines.

“We really need to make sure that we’ve got a very good handle on things by Thursday,” he said.

Tomorrow will reach 37 degrees Celsius, with light winds, becoming west to north-westerly around 20km/h.

Not over yet

A fire near Gundaroo on Monday evening reminded landowners that, while the Cobbler Road fire was contained, the bushfire threat remained real.

Around 5pm on Monday a farmer smelled smoke coming from his four-wheel drive motorbike while out checking his sheep.

Mr Dyce said the farmer had a spray tank on the back of the bike and put out the bike but the fire had already got away when he ran out of water.

“It just goes to show you can take all the precautions… he’s absolutely devastated this morning,” Mr Dyce told the Tribune yesterday.

The fire burned around 30 hectares near the intersection of Dicks Creek Road and Boutchers Drive, between Gundaroo and Murrumbateman.

“The winds brought it towards the west which put a lot of smoke over Tara Estate and the Murrumbateman area.”

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