Wind across Southern Ranges kicks up dust and fire concerns

A severe fire danger has been declared for Thursday. File photo.
A severe fire danger has been declared for Thursday. File photo.

All RFS crews are on standby on Thursday given strong winds and a severe fire danger rating.

The wind has picked up across the district and was gusting at 95km/h at Goulburn airport, the Bureau of Meteorology website showed.

RFS Southern Tablelands operations officer Lachlan Gilchrist said heavy dust had rolled in at Yass where the service has its control centre. Visibility for crews was down to just 10 metres.

The dust is also hitting Goulburn. Run-O-Waters residents have reported large swirls.

Mr Gilchrist said despite the wind, there hadn't been a significant increase in fire behaviour across the grounds, including Green Wattle Creek, Currowan and Jacqua Creek. However, that could change this afternoon.

"It's potentially going to be a very difficult afternoon but the saving grace is that wind will push the fires (back on themselves)," he said.

"They are predominantly north-northwest, carrying a significant amount of dust but the good thing is we will see a return to more benign conditions in the next few days."

But the wind also means that the RFS cannot deploy aerial support if a fire flares, due to dangerous conditions and poor visibility.

Just after 11am, a Taralga district resident reported smoke on the Bannaby Road. However, investigations revealed this was not a new ignition but smoke from the Green Wattle Fire.

Mr Gilchrist said while the Green Wattle blaze, now 'being controlled,' was burning within conatinment lines there were still unburnt areas inside that remained a concern.

In some good news for the area, the 313,449ha Currowan 2 fire was brought under control on Wednesday.

All RFS crews are on standby at stations amid today's severe fire rating.

Mr Gilchrist reminded the community to remain vigilant and not to operate any mechanical equipment outdoors, given the total fire ban.

This story Gusty winds bring dust and put RFS on alert first appeared on Goulburn Post.