Out of control fire at Shannons Flat

UPDATE WEDNESDAY 10:30AM

The fire threat of the large Shannons Flat fire which has been burning out of control for five days has been downgraded to 'being controlled'.

Rural Fire Service (RFS) community liaison Peter Dice said firefighters were patrolling the fire last night but the planned back burning had been hampered by light drizzly rain.

Mr Dice said more back burning would start on Wednesday afternoon once the foggy conditions lifted.

"Remote Area Firefighter Teams (RAFT) are continuing to put in containment lines by hand in steep inaccessible country in the north-west, where machinery can't get into," Mr Dyce said.

"It was a brilliant day for fire fighters [on Tuesday] - a little bit of water goes a long way on cooler days.

"Six aircraft have been working today [Tuesday] and are doing a brilliant job."

A large number of local RFS brigades have been fighting the fire along with strike teams from the ACT and Shoalhaven. 

The fire has been declared a Section 44 fire - an official state of emergency - enabling the RFS to call on additional resources outside the area, which has included other agencies such as National Parks and Wildlife, Fire and Rescue NSW, police and strike teams, 19 tankers, 75 firefighters, four bulldozers, four bulk water tankers and ten aircraft.

The fire which is about 23 kilometres north of Cooma, started on Friday afternoon (last week) and has burnt about 2095 hectares of bushland on private property.

The cause of the fire is being investigated by police, but is not thought to have been started by lightning. 

TUESDAY 

A LARGE dangerous forest fire at Shannons Flat is burning out of control and is heading towards the Namadji National Park in the ACT.

Monaro Team Rural Fire Service planning officer Ailish Pope said the fire had 'jumped' the northern containment line at about 12 midday on Monday but crews were on site and dealing with the 'spot over'.

"Residents on the Billilingra Road in the Nightingale area have been issued with a 'watch and act' warning as a precaution in case the fire runs in an easterly direction," Ms Pope said.

    GALLERY: Murrumbucca Fire

Deputy incident controller Pam O'Brien (National Parks and Wildlife Service) said the fire started on private property on Friday afternoon.

"The cause of the fire is not known," she said.

"It is under investigation, and no lightning strikes were recorded in the area at the time.

"It is a large forest fire burning is steep rugged terrain.

"It is in bushland and we have 10 aircraft on the job today [Monday]."

"We have local fire crews and outside crews - ACT strike teams and strike teams from away."

The fire which has burnt 1210 hectares since it started four days ago, and has been classified as 'being controlled'.

Called the 'Murrumbucca' fire, it has been declared a Section 44 fire - an official state of emergency - enabling the Rural Fire Service to call on additional resources outside the area, which has included other agencies such as National Parks and Wildlife, Fire and Rescue NSW, police and strike teams.

A total of 19 tankers, 75 firefighters, four bulldozers, four bulk water tankers and ten aircraft - all have been battling the fire.

The fire is 23 kilometres from Cooma, between the Shannons Flat Road and Billilingra Road, and has continued to burn in a northerly direction towards Namadji National Park in the ACT.

Fire crews protected the Amaroo and Murrumbucca homesteads which were threatened by the blaze.

Ms O'Brien said back burning and more containment lines are planned along the north west containment lines on Monday night which will result in a containment line around the entire fire.

With easing fire condition predicted for today (Tuesday) Ms O'Brien said it is hoped the fire will be contained to its current size, and firefighters can start to mop up and blackout the fire.

A number of other fires, on the Monaro have also kept local fire crews busy, are under control and contained.

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