UNDER CONTROL: A fire burning in the pine plantation in the Whiporie State Forest.
UNDER CONTROL: A fire burning in the pine plantation in the Whiporie State Forest.

Whiporie bushfire brought under control

A BUSHFIRE that was burning out of control in a pine plantation in Whiporie State Forest has been brought under control by Forestry Corporation of NSW and Rural Fire Service firefighters.

Forestry Corporation of NSW incident controller Marc Brown said the fire started by a 'needle drop', when new fuel fell on areas still smouldering from a prior bushfire three weeks ago.

"The fire started on Wednesday under really hot conditions, and some embers blew over our containment lines and started to burn north of our containment area," Mr Brown said.

"It kept on burning because of the heat and fuel in the area, which made its own weather conditions and made it very hard to control."

More than 50 firefighters worked overnight to bring the fire under control Wednesday night, along with four aircraft conducting water drops to stop the fire at the northern boundary of the plantation area.

Mr Brown said weather conditions were fortunate yesterday and helped bring the blaze under control.

"We really had two extremes of weather," he said.

"When the fire started it was 36C with low humidity, but yesterday it was overcast, there was about 70% humidity so it was moderate conditions and favourable for fighting the fire and deepening our containment lines."

Mr Brown said work will continue over the next few days to deepen the containment lines around the pine plantation.

"We will be making sure there's no burning debris at least 30m from the fire edge," he said.

"What happens is sometimes there old stumps that burn underground and you can't see them, the pine needles drop after a few weeks and adds new fuel to the area which makes the fire burn again, which is what happened here."



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