27 January 2021

Updated: Firefighters battle 141 hectare bushfire in Hilltops

| Hannah Sparks
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An out of control fire burns in inaccessible scrub in the Hilltops region of NSW.

An out of control fire burns in inaccessible scrub in the Hilltops region of NSW. Photo: Hannah Sparks.

UPDATED Wednesday, 27 January, 11:15 am: Firefighters are continuing to battle a bushfire burning in remote, inaccessible terrain near the village of Reids Flat in Hilltops.

The Crystal Springs Fire started shortly after 1:00 pm on Monday, 25 January and has burnt around 141 hectares.

The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) previously thought the fire had burnt around 370 ha but it was downgraded following aerial mapping.

The fire remains uncontained despite crews working day and night since Monday.

Crews on the ground have been back burning while aerial firefighters have been dropping water and retardant on the fire ground.

Rain and a drop in temperature assisted firefighters last night (26 January), but strong winds were hampering efforts this morning.

“The rugged terrain and inaccessibility of the area are making it difficult to contain, however, we are working towards controlling the fire on Wednesday,” an RFS spokesperson said. “We have 43 firefighters working on it this morning.”

Reids Flat residents are advised to remain vigilant and monitor the RFS website, Fires Near Me app and RFS social media.

There is currently no threat to property and the fire is at advice level.

The fire danger rating for Hilltops on Wednesday was high and the Bureau of Meteorology was predicting winds of up to 39 km/h.

Reids Flat is home to about 85 people and is surrounded by hilly, agricultural land.

The village is often a bypass for people travelling from Boorowa and Young to Crookwell and Goulburn. It is close to Wyangala Dam where hundreds of tourists travelled to spend Australia Day.

The cause of the fire is unknown and will remain under investigation until a cause is determined, the spokesperson said.

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