Lightning sparks blazes across region

MULTIPLE lightning strikes caused blazes from Yackandandah to Walwa and, across the border, at Culcairn with Victorian firefighters on high alert last night.

CFA district 24 operations officer Mark Owens said lightning strikes caused fires in Yackandandah, Kiewa Valley, Tallangatta, Walwa and Tallandoon from about 8pm when storms and rain rolled into the district.

Mr Owens said the major incidents occurred at Tallangatta and Walwa, where about 80 hectares were burnt, and were brought under control by 9pm.

No property was threatened.

“It seems to be grass and bush being burnt at the moment,” he said.

The CFA put out a warning for Walwa residents near Shelley Road.

Mr Owens said firefighters were gearing up for a long night.

“We’re expecting a night of multiple lightning strikes that will produce multiple fires but we’re lucky there’s a bit of rain about,” he said.

Over the border, fires were sparked at Alma Park and Culcairn.

NSW Rural Fire Service Inspector Marg Wehner said both blazes were caused by lightning striking trees and spreading to grass.

Only two hectares were burnt.

She said the reports were lightning and storms were passing through the region and NSW crews should have a quieter night than their Victorian counterparts.