Control centre welcomes evacuees and animals at showground

ON THE GROUND: Firefighting helicopters ready to discharge their water payloads near Mount Canobolas on Sunday. Photos: ANDREW MURRAY 0211amfire5
ON THE GROUND: Firefighting helicopters ready to discharge their water payloads near Mount Canobolas on Sunday. Photos: ANDREW MURRAY 0211amfire5

A disaster control centre was set up at the ELF at the Orange Showground on Sunday for people who had to evacuate.

Department of Family and Community Services welfare functional area coordinator Dennis Shrimpton opened the centre and said the Department of Primary Industries was also prepared to accommodate domestic animals.

 “We are setting up an information and assembly point here for people who are driven from their homes as a result of the fire,” Mr Shrimpton said.

“We can place them with accommodation, mainly commercial accommodation in motels and we can give immediate assistance.”

However, he said 90 per cent of people would stay with family and friends instead of requiring their help.

GETTING READY: Family and Community Services disaster relief unit's Dennis Shrimpton at the Orange Showgrounds.

GETTING READY: Family and Community Services disaster relief unit's Dennis Shrimpton at the Orange Showgrounds.

As of 6pm on Sunday, Borry Gartrell from Borrodell Vineyard on Lake Canobolas Road had not been advised to evacuate.

Mr Gartrell said the fire was about three to four kilomtres away and waterbombing aircraft had been flying over every two minutes to fill up from Lake Canobolas.

Justin Byrne also lives near the mountain and said the wind had been in his favour but possessions such as laptops, passports and essentials have been gathered just in case.

“With the current situation with the wind we are OK,” Mr Byrne said. 

“We can see a lot of activity on a hill a few kilometres from us.

“The RFS is throwing everything at it.”

Mr Byrne said his household was OK to stay as long as the wind continued in the same direction.

“It’s watch and wait,” he said.

“We’ve never seen a fire quite this close, it’s quite nerve wracking, we’ve been here a long time and there’s always potential.”

The firefighting crews battling the blaze on Mount Canobolas had to counter less than ideal conditions, according to the latest forecasts.

According to weatherzone.com.au the temperature was expected to reach 30 degrees on Sunday afternoon, with wind gusting at up to 31km/h.

If the forecast is to believed, the coming days will see similar conditions, with Monday (29), Tuesday (30) and Wednesday (31).

COPY THAT: Canobolas Zone NSW Rural Fire Service group captain Ray Nash hard at work near Nashdale. 0211amfire11

COPY THAT: Canobolas Zone NSW Rural Fire Service group captain Ray Nash hard at work near Nashdale. 0211amfire11

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