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Lightning sparks fire emergency declaration

Thursday December 13, 2012 - 09:21 EDT

A state of emergency declaration has been made for most of the far west after wide-ranging lightning overnight.

A large grassfire is out of control between Wilcannia and Bourke - at Winbar Station.

So far more than 2,000 hectares has been burnt in the hilly, remote area.

Rural Fire Service far west manager Chris Favelle says the Section 44 declaration was made for the Central Darling, Bourke and Brewarrina council areas, and the unincorporated area, at six o'clock this morning.

It allows local fire brigades to access resources from outside the area.

"The main reason we did that was because of the extensive lightning activity across the far west, especially in the unincorporated area, yesterday afternoon, and we've got that in place if we need it throughout the day today if any fires come up following that lightning," Supt Favelle said.

"And also we've got a fire over near Louth, the Winbar fire, which has created a bit of issues for us. It's in remote country and we need to get some resources in there to assist."

The RFS says today's forecast hot weather and the location of the blaze will be challenging for crews.

Supt Favelle says there's no danger to homes or properties.

"It's in fairly inaccessible and remote country and of course that creates some problems of its own because it's hard to get to and it's a long way from a lot of resources," he said.

"It is difficult to get people and firefighting resources into that area but at the moment there is no property threat to anyone's homes or equipment."

Fires closer to Broken Hill at Kars station, Koonawarra station and Marrapina station are now under control.


- ABC

© ABC 2012

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