FIREFIGHTERS are anxiously monitory a fire that has been burning underground at Mount Airly north of Lithgow for the past fortnight.
The fire ignited following a number of lightning strikes in the Capertee region two weeks ago and while no live fire can be seen on ground level any more, firefighters still hold great concerns.
NSW Rural Fire Service Chifley/Lithgow Team operational officer Brett Taylor said underground fires were a concern for crews.
“We believe it’s burning through shale oil or a coal seam,” he said.
“We held a thermal imaging camera over the surface and it was over 200 degrees.”
Mr Taylor said while the fire might be burning underground right now, this could easily change.
“Deep down there is a fire smouldering away and on a hot day it could just pop up [above ground level],” he said.
“It could sit underground for weeks or months.”
While there is currently no live fire visible on the surface Mr Taylor said the fire could travel along the shale or coal and break out onto the surface anywhere around the region.
If you see an unattended fire call triple-0 immediately.
This article first appeared in the Lithgow Mercury