Bush fire destroys several dwellings and one shed in Tallygang Mountain Road area

Firefighters from Bigga arrive to help with back burning near Wombeyan Caves. Photo: supplied

Firefighters from Bigga arrive to help with back burning near Wombeyan Caves. Photo: supplied

At least seven dwellings and one shed have burnt in the Tallygang Mountain Road area near Wombeyan Caves in the Green Wattle Creek fire.

The flames have, at times, reached 30 metres high, fanned by strong wind and forcing firefighters to retreat.

"Efforts have stopped the fire from spreading in some instances, but when the wind is behind it, it's such a vicious fire that we can't stop it," Taralga Rural Fire Brigade Captain John Sullivan said on Monday.

Firefighters worked hard to quickly contain spot fires over the weekend.

The fire has remained east of Range Fire Trail Rd in Wombeyan Caves, however, two spot fires that landed west of the containment line on Sunday were a reminder of how the fire could still spread towards Taralga Rd.

The fire also spread into the Wombeyan Caves valley floor over the weekend, Captain Sullivan said.

Fortunately, the valley floor and Wombeyan Caves infrastructure seemed relatively unscathed, despite the threat from outbreaks and rocks falling from steep surrounding slopes, Captain Sullivan said.

Falling trees made unsteady from the fire also meant Wombeyan Caves Road was closed for some of Saturday and Sunday.

A fire truck almost collided with a fallen tree on the road on Sunday night, Captain Sullivan said.

The road had reopened on Monday morning, but Captain Sullivan said it could close again.

"We've got some heavy plant down there, dozers and excavators that can clear fallen trees as we go, but it's a pretty dangerous road at the moment," he said.

Despite cool temperatures on Monday downgrading the Green Wattle Creek fire and allowing firefighting efforts to continue, the road to permanent reprieve is long.

Firefighters have been battling the Green Wattle Creek fire 24 hours a day for almost three weeks.

The terrain around Wombeyan Caves has proved difficult for firefighters.

"We can't get into a lot of it," Captain Sullivan said.

Thankfully, help has come from across the Upper Lachlan Shire, Illawarra, the south and west of the state. A Fire and Rescue NSW strike team recently came from Sydney's Northern Beaches, Captain Sullivan said.

Captain Sullivan anticipates easterly winds this week.

"Those could pose more problems for us, but at the moment they're not having too much of a negative effect. It's giving us a little bit of time to get in there and do some work, but if the westerlies come back, we'll start all over again."

Captain Sullivan warned residents to remain aware of what's happening in the area and be ready to evacuate.

"Some of these areas have one road in and one road out, and if you don't get out in time the consequences could be quite severe," he said.

In some places, crews have seen the same country burn twice, Captain Sullivan said.

Goulburn Recreation Area remains open as both a general and animal evacuation centre for those threatened by the bushfires in the district.

Crookwell Showground is also available for anyone impacted by the fires. Contact Paul Anderson on 0417 985 686 for more information.