Friday, 21 September, 2018

Boys accused of deliberately starting bushfire

An out-of-control fire burns near Ulladulla on the NSW south coast. Image NSW RFS An out-of-control fire burns near Ulladulla on the NSW south coast. Image NSW RFS
Roberta Sherman | 17 August, 2018, 05:41

But the fires around Ulladulla and Bemboka continue to burn out of control - and are expected to do so for several days due to the lack of easy containment lines.

NSW fire fighters work on containing an out of control bushfire in Bomaderry near Nowra, Wednesday, August 15, 2018.

While it's going to take "a fair amount of effort" over the next few days, crews are trying to get the south coast fires under control "ahead of stronger winds forecast for Saturday and the stronger fire risk associated with that extra wind".

Environmental change academic David Bowman said global warming meant the northern and southern hemisphere fire seasons were overlapping, which was stretching global firefighting resources.

Three boys were charged with allegedly lighting a fire at Blaxland on Wednesday.

Homes were evacuated near Milton, three hours' drive south of Sydney.

Local resident Sue St Clair said if firefighters hadn't arrived in time, she would have been in trouble.

Firefighters stopped the Mount Kingiman blaze from reaching her 19th-century home or five towering bunya pines but allowed a neighbouring paintball park to go up in flames.

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"You could hear all the gas cylinders in there exploding", she said.

On Wednesday, RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said firefighters were anxious the milder conditions would not last long.

Earlier this week, the Bureau of Meteorology warned of higher fire risks by Wednesday as rising temperatures and expected strengthening winds combined with the very dry conditions across the state.

"Considering the entire state is drought declared, the fuel is so dry, it doesn't take heat", he told the ABC.

Four firefighters were injured while battling a blaze in Caparra near Taree on Wednesday night.

"The fire is moving quickly under some very strong north-westerly winds towards the Burrill Lake area", he said.

"We do get fires in August, but the big difference is 100 per cent of the state is in drought and these winds are making the fires so hard to suppress", he said.

"It's certainly extremely dry", Mr Rogers said.

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She said while gusty winds were normal in winter, she couldn't remember the last time bush or grassfires were a threat.

'Usually winter conditions are just rainy and it just blows roofs off, ' she said.

A Watch and Act warning has also been issued for a fast-moving grass fire near Jerrara, west of Kiama.

Bushfire safety researcher Jim McLennan said he was "gobsmacked" to see so many fires in winter.

NSW Emergency Services Minister Troy Grant said the fires are a wake-up call for residents in fire-prone areas.

Mr Crawford urged rural property owners to reduce fuel loads and ensure firebreaks were free of vegetation.

Fires near Roma, Rockhampton, Bundaberg and Toowoomba on Wednesday kept emergency services busy.

A 300-hectare fire burns out of control at Bemboka.

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Ward was guarding Hopkins on a play and as the wide receiver was trying to make a move the safety knocked Hopkins' helmet off. Hopkins was sent to the Texans' practice bubble, while Ward was sent to the sideline, according to the Houston Chronicle .

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