Weather conditions lead to increase in fire activity around Gospers Mountain fire area

Weather conditions have lead to an increase in fire activity in the Hawkesbury this afternoon (Tuesday) as the Gospers Mountain fire continues to burn out of control.

Public Liaison Officer with the Hawkesbury Fire Control Centre, Stuart O'Keefe, told the Gazette the increase in fire activity had been predicted for today, and local brigades were being assisted by those from out of the area.

Increased activity: The view over the Richmond Lowlands looking towards the Gospers Mountain fire on Tuesday afternoon. Picture: Geoff Jones.

Increased activity: The view over the Richmond Lowlands looking towards the Gospers Mountain fire on Tuesday afternoon. Picture: Geoff Jones.

"There has been an increase in fire activity this afternoon under current weather conditions," Mr O'Keefe said.

"It's something that was being predicted and as a result these fires have been resourced accordingly.

"There has been an increase of out of area resources coming in to support the local firefighting effort, and there always will be whilst this fire is still burning.

"There is a lot of pre-planning days ahead of these particular spikes in weather. There are resources positioned around this massive fire, and although they are not always obvious, they are there to go and deal with areas of increased activity when required.

"There's 14 helicopters currently fighting this one fire and there are at our disposal two large air tankers. The new very large air tanker has come online in the last few days and has already operated several times across this fire. They're based in Richmond.

"Rest assured there's a lot of work going on in regards to dealing with the current situation."

A media spokesman for the NSW Rural Fire Service could not confirm if any property had been lost this afternoon, however one Colo Heights home was destroyed on Friday by the fire.

The Gospers Mountain fire is currently more than 138,000 hectares in size.

A community meeting will be held at Colo Heights tomorrow (Wednesday, November 20) for residents to be updated on the bushfire situation.

The meeting is set to take place from 8pm at Colo Heights Rural Fire Brigade Station.

Firefighters have been carrying out backburning operations close to properties in the areas around Wisemans Ferry, Webb Creek, Grey Gums and Yengo Drive in an effort to contain the fire.

Colo Heights Public School, Macdonald Valley Public School and Wisemans Ferry Public School remained closed today due to bushfire related conditions.

The NSW RFS has advised those in the Colo Heights, Higher MacDonald, Webbs Creek and Yengo Drive (Putty) areas to activate bush fire survival plans and monitor conditions.

Putty Road remains closed from Colo Heights to Milbrodale due to ongoing operations in the area and Bicentenary Road is closed between Lower Portland and Webb's Creek while the assessment of dangerous trees is undertaken.

Mr O'Keefe advised residents to work with the NSW RFS and ensure they had a fire plan in place.

"We're never going to give anyone a 100 per cent guarantee that a fire truck is going to turn up. the best thing they [residents] can do is be prepared and know what to do when a fire is going to impact their properties," he said.

"Our message is there's a serious fire there, you need to be prepared because in all likelihood it's going to impact on someone, somewhere."

People are encouraged to register online at Register Find Reunite https://register.redcross.org.au/ before attending evacuation centres.

Stay up to date on bush fires in your area by checking the NSW RFS website, listening to local radio station, or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.

Check Fires Near Me for bushfire updates at https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/fires-near-me.

A tutorial on how to use Fires Near Me is available on YouTube at youtube.com/watch?v=HuPjwvWwYPI