Longing for rain

Yass Valley residents have been looking longingly to the sky in the hope some rain might put a hold on the ongoing fire threat.

The last rain the region had was on January 14 when just four millimetres was collected in rain gauges.

The Rural Fire Service’s Peter Dyce said landowners and some volunteers would keep an eye on several fire grounds around the area until there was a heavy rain.

“A shower or sprinkle will not put it out," the superintendent said.

“We need 20 or 40 [millimetres], really good rain, to get it soaking down into the logs and half burnt stuff.”

He said roots could smoulder on the ground for months while white ants nests, which are built on top of wood, were another source of flare ups.

In the past fires had started two to three weeks after the main fire, from tree roots that travelled metres out onto the unburnt area.

“The weather forecast doesn't look great for the rest of the week. Everybody will be on the lookout.”

The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting temperatures in the mid 30s for this week, dropping to the high 20s into the weekend.

Showers and thunderstorms are forecast for much of this week. However, the chances are low and any rain would be isolated.

Superintendent Dyce said the firefighters will be on high alert.

“If we get another bad day all brigades will be stood up,” he said.

“Everybody will be ready, willing and able to do what they need to do.”

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