After weeks of fighting, the Upper Turon Road, Palmers Oaky fire is now at 'Patrol' status, however residents in the vicinity of the Kerry Ridge fire are warned to expect smoke this week as crews look to get the upper hand there as well.
Upper Turon Road, Palmers Oaky
The fire - which has burned more than 17,200ha of national park, state forest and private property - was started late last year on the southern side of the Turon in the Lithgow region by welding. Winds caused the northern edge to spot into the Mid-Western Region in a difficult to access area with a high fuel load.
Hot and windy conditions lead to it running further north and spotted to the other side of the Castlereagh Highway.
"We moved it to 'Patrol' status on Sunday, after it'd been at 'Contained' status for about a week," Brett Bowden, deputy incident controller, said.
"We've had crews patrolling it and over the last five days and we've been doing some helicopter operations around the edges, using forward-looking infrared (FLIR) technology which picks up hot-spots.
"And while we'll continue to patrol it, with fairly limited resources over the next few days, we're hoping it's not going to give us any more problems and the residents there can get back to some level of normality."
The good news with the Palmers Oaky fire, means that crews can ramp up efforts at Kerry Ridge, which Mr Bowden said, "is essentially the northwestern section of the Gospers Mountain fire".
"Kerry Ridge is still at 'Being Controlled' and we've still got a ways to go there. Around Growee Road and Coxs Creek Road is where we're still trying to get some containment," he said.
From Monday afternoon the RFS are looking to commence backburning operations north of Coxs Creek Road and south of Growee Road, to attempt to decrease fuel loads ahead of forecast rain later in the week.
"Our message is that people may see some increased smoke over the rest of today and maybe Wednesday, but no need to be concerned it's our crews gaining full containment on those portions of the fire," he said.
"The weather [Sunday] was very trying, we've a consistent run of easterlies which isn't normal, and it's provided headaches for people around Kandos, Rylstone, Olinda, Glen Alice, etc.
"The strength of those easterlies over enough weeks have really made it difficult for firefighting, particularly because of the gustiness - yesterday it was up to 50km/h.
"Everything held for us though, so we we're very happy that we didn't have any new spots get over any containment lines, and certainly our aviation support and our ground crews made sure we didn't have any additional issues from the gusts."
The fire burning north of Wollar began two days ago, however Mr Bowden said that due to the presence of crews in the area they were able to get on top relatively early.
"Being in the operational stage that we are, we've got access to aviation and heavy plant support and we were able to get a line around that fire pretty quickly and keep it to about 30Ha in the Mogo area," he said.
"And we're hopeful of being able to put that fire to 'Contained' within the next 24 hours as well."