MANY Cooma locals were concerned about the strong smell of smoke near the town on Tuesday, but Rural Fire Service (RFS) spokesperson, Inspector Langdon Gould said there was no fires burning nearby. There were, however' a number of small fires over the weekend.
"There are no uncontained fires on the Monaro at the moment," Inspector Gould said.
"The nearest fires are at Toolong [near Tumbarumba, 72 kilometres away], and Wadbilliga National Park.
"I've known smoke to drift 400 to 500 kilometres," so it could be from thr Hotham fire in Victoria.
Lightning started a number of small fires across the Monaro over the weekend, which are all out or controlled.
On Friday night lightning started a bushfire between Numeralla and east of the Rose Valley Road.
RFS crews were unable to gain access to the fire which was burning in accessible country, but went in on foot early on Saturday morning and put in a 'hand tool' containment line before a helicopter bucketed the blaze with water.
RFS volunteers from the Numeralla and Cooma brigades attended the fire.
Lightning was also responsible for a grass fire at Avon Lake at Bungarby on Saturday afternoon at 2.30pm. Bungarby, Dalgety and Nimmitabel RFS fire crews were quickly on the scene and put the fire out.
On Sunday the Colinton RFS brigade went to a small hot grass fire at Ryrie Hill Road at Michelago started by lightning.
Two trucks moved around the perimeter, dousing the three-metre high flames.
They were joined by two more trucks which parked at the top of the hill to supply water to three fire trucks.
The fire was put out and crews were home by eight o'clock.
Michelago tankers were on the way to assist with the Ryrie Hill fire when they were called to a larger fire on the Black Flat Road, at Rock Forest near Burra, also on Sunday.
The Black Flat Road fire also started by a lightning strike, was put out by RFS crews from Colinton, Michelago, Burra, Jerrabomberra and National Parks and Wildlife Service fire crews.
Fires also started at Wadbilliga National Park in the Bega Valley and Toolong Range near Tumbarumba.