Crews work to contain North Black Range fire ahead of deteriorating conditions

Conditions have eased for firefighters battling the North Black Range bushfire near Braidwood.

However, fire crews have warned residents not to get complacent with conditions expected to worsen on Thursday with strong winds predicted.

Fire crews are working to contain the North Black Range fire in the Tallaganda National Park. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos

Fire crews are working to contain the North Black Range fire in the Tallaganda National Park. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos

There will be a severe fire danger rating in the Braidwood area on Thursday and a total fire ban will be in place.

The ACT will also have a total fire ban on Thursday with a very high fire danger rating. Wind gusts in the ACT are predicted to reach as high as 75 kilometres per hour.

The fire has burnt more than 25,000 hectares and was at an advice level on Wednesday morning.

NSW Rural Fire Service Lake George district officer Darren Marks said overnight conditions were favourable for fire crews after the fire jumped containment lines on Tuesday afternoon.

"While conditions have been quiet overnight, there is an ongoing risk and we need everyone in the area to maintain their vigilance," Mr Marks said.

"We've had some movement in the fire to the north overnight around Butmaroo but it's still within the containment lines.

"We're looking at doing backburning to the south of the fire today, which will see an increase in smoke in the area."


More than 150 firefighters are expected to be battling the bushfire throughout the day on Wednesday to bring it under control.

Crews have set up 60 kilometres of containment lines around the fire, but Mr Marks said there could be increased fire activity later on Wednesday.

"Winds are predicted to get up between 35 and 50 kilometres per hour and be from the west, so we have risks similar to yesterday and the potential to get spot fires or get intense areas," he said.

"That would lead to the risk of the Kings Highway and Cooma Road being closed for a short period of time."

Helen Kirkup from the Bureau of Meteorology said strong westerly winds are expected on Thursday.

"Because of the winds coming in from western NSW, those winds are often very dry and the temperature will go into the high 20s for the next few days but could creep into the 30s," Ms Kirkup said.

"The winds will shift the fire somewhat. The winds will rise on Wednesday night and continue into Thursday."

After two days of closures, schools in Braidwood reopened to students and teachers on Wednesday.

The schools include Braidwood Central School, Braidwood Preschool and St Bede's Primary School.

Teachers from Queanbeyan have been called into to replace Braidwood staff who are protecting their own properties from the fire or who are on duty with the Rural Fire Service.

Protection measures are currently in place for homes near the fireground.

Mr Marks said more properties could come under threat if the fire picked up later in the day.

He said crews were working to contain the fire ahead of worsening conditions expected to hit on Thursday.

"The winds are predicted to be even stronger than Wednesday and pushing from the north-west as opposed to the west, and that will put pressure on areas near the south of the fire," Mr Marks said.

The Rural Fire Service said areas including Mount Elrington Road and Bendoura would be most affected by the spotting.

This story 'Ongoing risk': Crews work to contain North Black Range fire first appeared on The Canberra Times.