Emergency crews were busy over the weekend as strong winds ripped across the Gloucester region.
With the prediction of temperatures in the low 30's and winds in excess of 60 kilometres per hour heading into the weekend, emergency crews were on high alert with the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) having declared a total fire ban and an extreme fire danger rating on Friday (September 6).
Things picked up on Friday evening with the NSW RFS being called out to a bush fire that started near the Barnard bridge, north west of Gloucester. Numerous crews have been deployed to the Giro as they continued to work on containment lines. On Sunday afternoon (September 8), crews were forced to close the Thunderbolts Way for a couple of hours as a result of the fire, which remained out of control. As of 9.50am on Monday (September 9), the fire had come under control having so far burnt 1423 hectares. The NSW RFS have stated that there is no direct threat to homes.
The Gloucester State Emergency Service (SES) also received its share of call outs as the winds made their mark on town Friday evening. Crews assisted one homeowner secure their building after the roof blew off. At another home in town, a pergola roof was taken in the winds causing damage to neighbouring roofs. In the caravan park, a tree fell onto a motor vehicle, a caravan and a motorhome. According to the SES, no one was injured during the incidents.
Strong winds are forecast for Monday and Tuesday (September 10) with conditions starting to ease from Tuesday afternoon through to the end of the week.
Firefighters from National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Forestry Corporation and NSW Rural Fire Service supported by water bombing aircraft will continue to strengthen containment and extinguish the eight active fires across the Mid Coast.
The fire danger rating for Monday remains at very high. All fire permits remain suspended. Under these conditions members of the public should review their bush fire survival plans and keep informed of the current conditions by visiting www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or the 'fires near me app' for smart phones.