Thousands of livestock lost in NSW fires

By Sarina Locke – Wednesday, 09/01/2013

Up to 10,000 livestock, sheep and cattle have been killed in fires in NSW.

Cooler conditions have helped firefighters contain a number of blazes in the state’s south, on the South Caost near Sussex Inlet, at Cooma, and west of Yass.

The NSW Minister for Agriculture Katrina Hodgkinson’s family farm has been affected by fires, which burnt 17,000 hectares..

“It’s been a dreadful night, I’ve got to say we’ve been up all night, we know that we’ve lost thousands of head of sheep.

And of course this is one of our most beautiful primary producing areas, and a lot of stud breeders live in this particular area, so that is an absolute tragedy.”

Two-thousand firefighters are continuing to battle blazes across New South Wales this morning although weather conditions have eased.

While it has cooled in the south, authorities are concerned about areas in the north where fire conditions are extreme.

Of the 141 fires, 28 are still uncontained.

Rural Fire Service crews battled through the night to protect propoerties. Some of the key fires of concerns include a blaze near Sussex Inlet in the Shoalhaven and further inland in the Kybean Valley near Cooma.

Reports are emerging that thousands of stock have lost in a grass fires covering 16 hectares near Harden to the west.

RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers says they need to contain the fires ahead of expected warmer weather later this week.

“If we’ve still got uncontained fires and we get warm weather again, then those fires are just going to be up anend running again so it will be a bit of a race against time.”

Crews are also fighting a new fire near Lithgow.

The NSW Premier has delayed his holiday plans to visit fire-affected regions today in the south-west.

Barry O’Farrell has congratulated fire-fighters for their work yesterday, saying lessons have been learnt from the 2009 Victorian bushfires.

He’s angry though that three teenagers charged with setting a fire at Shalvey in Sydney’s west yesterday have been released on bail.

A burnt out property near Bookham in the Yass Shire.

A burnt out property near Bookham in the Yass Shire. | Photographer: (Skye Manson.)