MASSIVE EFFORT: Clarence Valley crews are on standby to head to the Blue Mountains. Photo: AAP
MASSIVE EFFORT: Clarence Valley crews are on standby to head to the Blue Mountains. Photo: AAP

Heading for the hills

CLARENCE Valley firefighters are on standby to join the effort fighting the fires in the Blue Mountains and Sydney later this week.

Clarence Valley Rural Fire Service's Inspector Grant Anderson said three tankers and 26 personnel had been put on standby.

"With the conditions the way they've been, they're about a 70% chance of going," he said.

Insp Anderson said the local firefighters must rest after they were taken off Section 44 alerts on Monday.

"The rules say the crews must have a couple of days' rest after a Section 44," he said.

Insp Anderson said more fires in the region would also keep the local crews on the home front.

He said local brigades had scaled down their operations to just patrolling fire scenes to make sure there were no flare-ups.

A Clarence Valley Rural Fire Service crew from Glenugie has joined the firefighting effort in the Blue Mountains under the control of the Mid North Coast Rural Fire Service.

The local brigades could face some big challenges with fears unpredictable weather conditions could cause a mega-fire in the Blue Mountains if a number of existing large blazes join together.

Dr Owen Price, a senior research fellow at the Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires at the University of Wollongong, says there is a risk that a combined fire could produce so much energy it could create its own weather conditions.



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