New Zealand fire fighters fly in to help at Myall Creek fire, Bora Ridge for a Saturday night shift.
New Zealand fire fighters fly in to help at Myall Creek fire, Bora Ridge for a Saturday night shift. NSW RFS

Backburning combating fires

FALLING trees, smoke and relentless flames challenge firefighters as bushfires continue to burn out of control across the Northern Rivers.

Despite all fires in the region dropping back to Advice level, the Rural Fire Service said people should continue to monitor conditions and the Fires Near Me app, as the bushfires can easily accelerate as has happened numerous times during recent months.

Four major fires at Woodenbong (16,173ha), Mt Nardi National Park (6327ha), Bora Ridge (66,991ha) and Busby Flat (51,826ha) have burnt more than 140,000 hectares of land.

As of yesterday afternoon, Woodenbong and Bora Ridge continued to burn out of control, Mt Nardi National Park was being controlled and Busbys Flat remained under control.

 

Thirteen homes have been destroyed during the last two weeks at Bora Ridge and three homes have been destroyed in Mt Nardi.

A man at Myall Creek, Bora Ridge suffered severe burns after trying to defend his property and was assisted by firefighters in the area.

Yesterday, the Rural Fire Service reported the Myall Creek Rd fire at Bora Ridge continued to burn in the areas around Mt Marsh, Whiporie, Camira Creek, Tullymorgan, and Jacky Bulbin Flat and to the east of the Pacific Highway at Devil's Pulpit, spanning 357km so far.

A spokesperson from RFS said the fire behaviour had been erratic and remained largely unpredictable.

"Firefighting crews continue to actively defend property and infrastructure in difficult conditions, supported by water-bombing aircraft and heavy plant."

On Saturday, to provide rest and assist local crews, New Zealand firefighters arrived to help out at Bora Ridge, undertaking backburning and containment operations.

"They have been welcomed with open arms," a spokesperson from RFS media said.

With sustained smoke and dust from fires continuing, temporary air-quality monitors have now been installed across affected areas.

NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment director of climate and atmospheric Matthew Riley said these additional monitors would provide up-to-date real-time info for the people on the North Coast.

"These areas normally have some of the best air quality in the world," Mr Riley said.

"These temporary monitors will ensure people and health services in those areas can get the information they need to make important decisions on providing healthcare advice for the community or for individuals implementing their own health plans."

NSW Government scientists are also working with the NSW Rural Fire Service to understand wildfire conditions and the likelihood of smoke persisting, and the Bureau of Meteorology who give a broader outlook on winds and weather conditions that exacerbate air quality in NSW.

People in fire-affected areas are advised to ensure they have a bushfire survival plan.

Northerly winds are predicted today and tomorrow, with winds predicted to shift to the south on Wednesday.

"That's when we will start to see a different wind influence on our fire grounds," a RFS spokesperson said. "It is yet to be determined how strong the southerly will be."

RFS said the shift in wind would be both "good and bad", in some areas assisting to slow the fires' progress to the south.


5 myths about The Northern Star we want to bust

5 myths about The Northern Star we want to bust

OPINION: Our journos have been covering news that matters on the Northern Rivers...

Qld opening with NSW now in doubt

Qld opening with NSW now in doubt

Queensland border: Opening with NSW in November may be in doubt