Bemboka bushfire: Report finds two houses lost in 3300ha blaze

A bushfire that started near Bemboka has destroyed two houses and four outbuildings according to an initial assessment. 

Late on Thursday afternoon, NSW Rural Fire Service’s Building Impact Assessment Teams released their first evaluation of the blaze that swept over 3300ha of land mainly in Wadbilliga National Park, but the details of what constituted an outbuilding was not yet confirmed. 

While an emergency warning had been released on Wednesday leading residents around areas such as Desert Creek Rd to evacuate, the bushfire was downgraded to an Advice alert level on Thursday afternoon. 

“It’s basically a reflection of the weather conditions,” NSW Rural Fire Service community safety officer Marty Webster said. 

“The wind eased and we grew increasingly confident in our abilities to protect assets. That’s not to say it’s not impossible it will go up again.” 

Fortunately, there had been no reports of injuries to firefighters or people who lived near the blaze. 

“We’ve had no injuries which is a fantastic result, that is really significant to us,” Mr Webster said. 

“Likewise, we’ve had no reports from the community of any injuries either.” 

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Due to the weather forecast over the coming days, he said the RFS would be making the most of calmer conditions on Friday to prepare for stronger winds on Saturday; although luckily Saturday’s weather was not expected to be as extreme as on Wednesday. 

“We’ll be going as hard as we can to get as much work done as possible,” he said. 

Weatherzone forecast wind speeds to reach 19kmh on Saturday, with a top temperature of 19 degrees Celsius. 

Mr Webster has seen fires in August over his career as it can be a windy month, but he said one of this magnitude was extremely unusual. 

There was understandable concern from the Bega Valley community throughout Wednesday and Thursday, as the huge plumes of smoke in the sky reopened barely healed wounds of five months ago when a bushfire tore through Tathra and district, resulting in the loss of 1250ha of land, 65 homes and 70 caravans or cabins.

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