Residents near Braidwood remain on edge about North Black Range bushfire

Residents west of Braidwood remain on edge from the North Black Range bushfire, despite more favourable conditions forecast for Tuesday.

No properties are currently under threat by the bushfire in the Tallaganda National Park, which has burnt more than 20,000 hectares. The fire remains at advice level.

Ben Shepherd from the NSW Rural Fire Service said while the blaze had previously threatened nearby homes, it was now burning in remote areas of the national park.

"The fire continues to burn on the northern flank of the fire," Mr Shepherd said.

"The fire is still within the forest in the conservation area and it has come out onto private properties in a number of areas but now it's now only burning in remote areas."

Parts of the fire burning to the east of Cooma Road has also been reduced.

Winds are expected to be more favourable to fire crews on Tuesday. Strong winds were seen on Monday afternoon but there had been no major fire spread.

Fire danger is expected to increase as the week progresses and will likely peak on Thursday.

Schools in Braidwood and the surrounds were closed on Monday and again on Tuesday. The schools affected include Braidwood Central School, St Bede's and Braidwood preschool.

Helen Faulker's Bombay property and horses survived Friday's inferno. Helen's son, Dexter Faulkner, 8. Picture: Jamila Toderas

Helen Faulker's Bombay property and horses survived Friday's inferno. Helen's son, Dexter Faulkner, 8. Picture: Jamila Toderas

For residents, the continued fire danger has created unease and spot fires pose a risk. Helen Faulkner, of Bombay, said on Monday the fear was stronger than when the bushfire threatened her property on Friday.

"I'm feeling worse today, my heart is racing," she said.

"I think it was that smell of smoke that came over at 12pm and you couldn't see where it was coming from and I just went a bit to pieces."

Ms Faulkner, who runs a horse riding school called the Saddle Camp, was forced to flee in Friday's inferno, which saw a nearby home destroyed.

She estimated they fled about 3.30pm on Friday when an emergency warning was in place for Bombay. Ms Faulker and husband Robert left the property, with their three children already safely elsewhere.

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"We got to the other side of the [Shoalhaven] river, we watched the inferno, I couldn't stand still," she said.

It was an anxious night for Ms Faulkner, who stayed at a friends in town. She did not know if her home or horses were safe until she returned at 5am on Saturday.

For years Ms Faulkner had maintained the fire plan for her four horses to remain on the property with her and they had not been evacuated. If the family was forced to flee, there was a laneway on her property the horses could follow that led to a dam.

"I wanted my horses right next to me where I had the water that I had, the infrastructure and I could keep the embers off them and the laneway that could escape to get to the dam, and I felt like that was a really, really good plan," she said.

"When I was away from them for five hours, I felt like it was the worst plan... I couldn't sleep."

When Ms Faulkner returned on Saturday the horses had suffered no injuries. Despite the ongoing threat, she remained upbeat and said she was incredibly grateful to the firefighters and amazed at community spirit.

Views of smoke at Mount Elrington. Firefighters are staying put in case the fire arrives. Picture: Jamila Toderas

Views of smoke at Mount Elrington. Firefighters are staying put in case the fire arrives. Picture: Jamila Toderas

NSW RFS Lake George district officer Darren Marks said the wind added pressure, but the cooler conditions helped.

"If we were having these winds on a 30 degree day, the fire would already be at the coast," he said.

Mount Elrington was an area of concern for crews on Monday. Crews near the base of the mountain were worried about the fire coming down, but the advice for nearby residents had been downgraded by the evening.

One of the main concerns for firefighters was the possibility of the Currowan and North Black Range fire joining. From the base of Mount Elrington, smoke from the Currowan fire was visible. Firefighters have set up containment lines on Cooma Road to try to prevent this from happening.

On Monday morning, Mr Marks said if that were to happen the fire would be more than 100,000 hectares and "it would absolutely cut the Kings Highway".

This story Residents near Braidwood remain on edge first appeared on The Canberra Times.