Firefighter injured at Hell's Hole

WATER-BOMBING aircraft and heavy plant equipment continued the battle yesterday against the Hell’s Hole Fire near the Abercrombie River.

Firefighters from the Blue Mountains and Sydney Basin worked alongside local crews to control fires started by lightning on Saturday night.

Fire crews were pulled out of the Hell’s Hole fire on Monday evening as the fire broke through containment lines in several places.

Chifley/Lithgow Rural Fire Service  Superintendent Tom Shirt said photos from high altitude aircraft showed that ground crews would have had to pass a lot of pine trees to get to the trouble spots, putting them in a dangerous position.

A firefighter was injured late on Monday when he was struck by a falling tree and was in hospital yesterday.

A truck was also damaged.

The  man, who was working alongside firefighters from the Blue Mountains, was airlifted to Orange Base Hospital with injuries to his neck and shoulders.

Crews went back in to the Hell’s Hole Fire yesterday morning with cover provided by water-bombing aircraft, while heavy plant equipment, including bulldozers, worked to extend the containment lines.

Superintendent Shirt said late yesterday there was still a threat to the village of Trunkey. The fire was around six kilometres from the village yesterday. 

“Not surprisingly, everyone in the village is a bit nervous,” he said.

Fire lights up the sky

WITH his property perched 1000 metres above sea level, Neville man Matt Molloy had a bird’s eye view of the Hells Hole fire burning between Neville and Trunkey Creek.

“We’re keeping a close eye out at the moment,” he said.

“As the crow flies its 10 kilometres away, but it’s heading more towards Trunkey Creek.”

Mr Molloy said the fire was mostly in the forest area, but he was still watching to see it did not spread towards his property on Bugs Ridge Road about five kilometres out of Neville. He had his water tanks ready just in case.

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