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Three firefighters hospitalised by Balmoral blaze

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A fire crew battling the Green Wattle Creek fire near Bargo have been injured by the blaze early on Thursday afternoon.

Two male firefighters suffered face and airway burns among other injuries and were airlifted to Concorde Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

A female member of the crew has been transported by road ambulance to be treated for burns and smoke inhalation.

Two others were treated for smoke inhalation on scene.

NSW Ambulance Inspector John Brotherhood says airway injuries “can be quite deadly”.

“The most important thing is to stay calm, cool them down, [and] don’t try to get them to exert themselves.”

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Fire crews in the Balmoral area “are the real heroes of the day,” says NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliot.

“When you consider that most of these volunteers train in their own time, and then of course take time away from work to protect our communities, it’s a very sobering and humbling concept.”

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RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons says the Green Wattle Creek fire is “particularly busy and active, and the southerly change has just started to impact across that fire ground now.

“There are concerns that will spread the fire further to the north, towards the township and the community of Tahmoor.”

The NSW Premier has declared a state of emergency, with the Gospers Mountain mega-blaze and Green Wattle Creek fires currently burning at an emergency level.

As many as 40 properties have been destroyed.

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Luke Grant