News / Featured / 9th November 2023
Siding Spring bushfire scare
At 4.40pm on Friday, 3 November NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Castlereagh Zone were called to a fire on the western side of Mount Woorut near Siding Spring Observatory.
RFS district officer, Graham Parker said the fire occurred on a steep embankment and that due to the time of day, air support was unable to assist in extinguishing the blaze.
The fire is believed to have been caused by a lightning strike.
Castlereagh Zone RFS and National Parks and Wildlife Service attended the scene, going in with hand tools and hose lines.
At 7.50pm that evening, crews were able to bring the blaze under control and establish a containment line around the fire.
The fire continued to burn within the containment line throughout the night.
Mr Parker said crews returned at 8.40am on Saturday, 4 November, to strengthen the containment lines and continue work on the fire.
Due to storm activity on Saturday, at 1.10pm crews pulled back from the fire due to the approaching storm.
Mr Parker said the fire remained within control, and after crews returned following the storm, the fire was declared extinguished at 4.30pm on Monday, 6 November.
Mr Parker said over the same weekend, there were numerous other small fires in the zone, which RFS believe to have originated from lightning strikes.
Ten years on since the 2013 Wambelong bushfire, the sign of smoke in the Warrumbungles carries strong memories.
A spokesperson for National Parks and Wildlife Service said that in September this year there had also been three small low-intensity fires near White Gum Lookout that appeared to have been deliberately lit.
“These fires were less than one hectare in size combined and were also immediately extinguished by RFS and NPWS crews,” the spokesperson said.
With national parks covering 10 per cent of NSW, NPWS delivered approximately 85 per cent of all hazard reduction burning in NSW in partnership with RFS in 2022/23.
“More than 60 hazard reduction burns have been undertaken by NPWS since 1 July 2023, and we will continue to deliver hazard reduction activities where conditions allow,” the spokesperson said.
“Locally, the NPWS Castlereagh Area has conducted 15 hazard reduction burns over autumn/winter totalling 7,543 hectares, including two burns in Warrumbungle National Park.”
NPWS said their hazard reduction program prioritises the protection of life and property by focusing on the highest risk areas, including areas at the urban or rural property interface.