Lake Canobolas area evacuated during Mount Canobolas fire

ABLAZE: The fire tore through bushland around Mount Canobolas on Saturday night and was once again given emergency status on Sunday afternoon: Photo: TROY BARRETT
ABLAZE: The fire tore through bushland around Mount Canobolas on Saturday night and was once again given emergency status on Sunday afternoon: Photo: TROY BARRETT

MORE than 347 hectares of bushland was burned out by Sunday evening as the fire at Mount Canobolas raged on.

NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Canobolas zone manager Superintendent David Hoadley said after the fire flared up on Saturday night, it quietened down in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“But as the temperature has warmed up, the fire activity has intensified, we’ve now got significant winds impacting and the fire is acting a bit erratically,” he said. 

The fire had been moving in an easterly to southeasterly direction during the day but as the afternoon wore on, fire activity worsened as it moved east along Mount Canobolas Road.

No homes were lost at the time of publication, only sheds and outbuildings.

However, residents on Pinnacle Road and Lake Canobolas Road were told just before 3.30pm they should move to Orange and only remain if they and their properties were well prepared.

Residents could opt to stay and defend their properties. 

Residents around Boree Lane, Lidster and Borenore Road were advised to monitor the situation.

The cause of the fire remains unconfirmed, however the suspected culprit was lightning on Friday. 

Nashdale Hall was an evacuation point earlier in the day, but it was later moved to the ELF at Orange Showground where animals could be accommodated.

Embers were spotted as far ahead as Sir Jack Brabham Park and the Leewood Estate.

Saturday night’s road closures included Mitchells Way, Canobolas Road and the Old Canobolas Road.

But midday on Sunday, it had expanded to Canobolas Road, Pinnacle Road and Lake Canobolas Road, while Lake Canobolas was cleared of visitors to enable uninterrupted passage of emergency vehicles.

Nancarrow Road was closed later in the day. 

More than 100 firefighters worked across the fireground, supported by seven aircraft, among them a DC-10 air tanker from Richmond and helicopters.

The other main concern for the RFS was the telecommunications equipment at the summit as the fire front approached from the north.

Supt Hoadley said water bombing had been used to try to slow the fire down and retardant had also been used.

“We’ve had two drops of retardant, one to protect the infrastructure and one towards the southwest corner of the fire,” he said.

He said five bulldozers and two graders were being used on containment lines on several firefronts. 

Supt Hoadley did not know when the fire could be brought under control, with more dry weather predicted.

“It unknown at this point, depending on the weather and depending how much progress the heavy plant can make,” he said. 

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