Tallong Drive, Lake Cathie underground fire goes from 500 degrees to wet puddles

Before and after: Underground fire at Lake Cathie photographed on Wednesday, January 15 (left) and the fire ground location taken after the rain fell over the weekend (right).
Before and after: Underground fire at Lake Cathie photographed on Wednesday, January 15 (left) and the fire ground location taken after the rain fell over the weekend (right).

Members of the Lake Cathie Rural Fire Brigade are rejoicing after a sinister underground fire situated near residential properties became a wet plain over the weekend.

Lake Cathie Rural Fire Brigade captain Chris Brown and deputy captain Bruce Small have been monitoring the fire situated near Tallong Drive, since it initially flared up in October, 2019.

On Wednesday, January 15 Mr Brown and Mr Small used a special device to measure the underground temperature, which was found to be upwards of 500 degrees.

Lake Cathie Rural Fire Brigade captain Chris Brown measuring the temperature of the fire ground at Tallong Drive, Lake Cathie.

Lake Cathie Rural Fire Brigade captain Chris Brown measuring the temperature of the fire ground at Tallong Drive, Lake Cathie.

The terrain where the underground fire was located was very dry and vegetation was turning into coal.

It's an area which traditionally was covered in water, due to its close proximity to the lake.

"Unfortunately all the moisture is gone," Mr Small said on Wednesday.

Due to the nature of the dry vegetation, Mr Small and Mr Brown said the underground fire could flare up into a blaze easily, under the right weather conditions.

Domino effect: Trees fall over at the Lake Cathie fire ground.

Domino effect: Trees fall over at the Lake Cathie fire ground.

However, on Monday, January 20 and Mr Brown said the location had turned into water over the weekend.

He said the rain would have taken the pressure off firefighters for a number of fire zones across the state.

NSW RFS district officer Stuart Robb said the rainfall has been beneficial, with 30 to 60mm received across the district from over the weekend.

Across the region, Mr Robb said there are still nine fires, which crews continue to patrol.