17 Feb 2017

At least 15 homes lost in New South Wales fire

10:08 pm on 17 February 2017

At least 15 homes have been lost in a fast-moving, out-of-control grassfire burning near Carwoola, in New South Wales.

There are currently 87 bushfires and grassfires burning across the state, with 66 uncontained so far - many that are believed to have started by lightning strikes.

Earlier this afternoon a firefighter was injured in the Carwoola blaze and was taken to hospital with burns.

Queanbeyan Police Superintendent Rod Smith told ABC Radio Canberra many had been lost in the fire, and the number was expected to increase.

"Unfortunately we've counted at this stage 15 homes that have been lost, particularly around the Widgiewa Road area, but still no reports of any injuries [to home owners] which is great," he said.

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) has confirmed there have been "extensive property losses" but the exact number would not be known until conditions eased.

The 2700-hectare fire is burning out-of-control near Queanbeyan in the area of Captains Flat Road at Carwoola.

Too late to leave

The RFS said it was too late for residents to leave in the areas of Hoskintown, Rossi or Forbes Creek.

They also advised residents in Primrose Valley and the Captains Flat township not to leave, as the road north is affected by fire.

The fast-moving fire is burning in an easterly direction and has crossed Widgiewa Road, Whiskers Creek Road and the Molongolo River.

Greg Allen from the RFS said residents along those roads should take shelter immediately from radiant heat.

"Certainly get inside a solid structure of your home," he said.

"Close all windows, watch for embers, fill up the bath tub and have water prepared and ready to assist should fire take hold outside or inside the property.

"Certainly do what you can to remain safe, seek shelter inside your property and take advice from firefighters as that fire front moves through."

Large firefighting aircraft are assisting crews and trucks are being brought in from the surrounding region.


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