Wooli Bushfire 26 Feb 2016 copyright Tanja Ackerman
Wooli Bushfire 26 Feb 2016 copyright Tanja Ackerman Tanja Ackerman

Pressure off Wooli, but blaze still going

UPDATE, 4.15PM:  The pressure is off Wooli with a fire burning north of the township now downgraded to an advice level, but residents have been warned to remain alert. 

Rural Fire Service Clarence Valley district manager Superintendent Stuart Watts said fire fighting crews had managed to keep the spread of the fire to a trail north of Wooli.

His best estimate was that the fire had burnt through about 200 hectares. 

"At this point in time the fire is being assisted under a moderate south east wind, so now we will try to keep it east of Wooli Road and south of Diggers Camp Rd," he said.

"People in the area will see smoke and need to be careful driving down Wooli Rd."

Supt Watts also advised people to take directions of police or fire fighters that may be in attendance. 

"We're trying to get it under control tonight, but that will be dependent on winds," he said.  

"Fires in heath lands especially can be very volatile. What the community needs to be aware of is there is still a fire burning and need to pay attention to advice."  

The Rural Fire Service is also currently battling two other fires in the area - one in Pillar Valley and the other on Possum Hole Lane at Ulmarra, caused by an accidental car fire.   

"It started in dry grass underneath the car and caught on the exhaust, and burnt car and trailer," Supt Watts said.  

"It has since burnt into areas that are usually green but at this point in time the grass quite dry, and it has also burnt underground into some peat moss so that one might take some time to extinguish."

Rural Fire Service Wooli Police copyright Tanja Ackerman2016
Rural Fire Service Wooli Police copyright Tanja Ackerman2016 Tanja Ackerman

UPDATE, 1.37PM: The fire burning north of the Wooli township has now been upgraded to Watch and Act, and has burnt through an estimated 10 hectares of bush land.

Rural Fire Service crews and National Parks and Wildlife fire fighters are continuing efforts to contain it. 

EARLIER: FIRE fighters at Wooli are in a race against time to contain an out of control bush fire burning north of the township.

The fire is expected to be upgraded to watch and act in the next hour, with Wooli residents reporting thick smoke across the region.

Rural Fire Service Clarence Valley district manager Superintendent Stuart Watts said two helicopters and about 20 fire fighters had been deployed to the area to contain the fire, which has burnt through at least two hectares of bush land.

"The biggest concern is this afternoon with the southerly change that's expected, it might push north and away from Wooli so villages north including Diggers Camp and Minnie Water need to be alert," he said.

For now, Supt Watts said the best thing residents could do was to make sure they have a plan in place, monitor the Rural Fire Service website and if they see a fire without a truck in attendance, report it immediately.

The first reports of smoke in the area came shortly after 10.30am this morning, he said.

It is believed the fire started at Faulkner's Trail near the coast to the north of the Wooli village and turned inland off the coast becoming inaccessible to fire trucks.

Volunteer Firefighter Wooli Feb 26 2016 copyright Tanja Ackerman
Volunteer Firefighter Wooli Feb 26 2016 copyright Tanja Ackerman Tanja Ackerman

"We have the two helicopters deployed to the area and right now we're trying to buy a bit of time containing it and slowing it down for a little while," he said.

"We do expect the fire to impact on the asset protection zone to the north of Wooli. We want to bring it out to the asset protection zone so we can contain it and once we have completed that task there we will revise it down again," he said.

At a level of Watch and Act, the Rural Fire Service will update the situation every two hours.


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