Fire ban lifted for Northern Rivers as conditions ease

UPDATE September 27, 11.20am: A FIRE ban covering the Northern Rivers has been lifted as conditions ease.

The Rural Fire Service currently has the region's fire danger level set at "high" - the third-lowest setting available on the fire danger scale.

The downgrade in the fire threat, which yesterday was tagged at "severe" has been reflected across NSW, with the highest warning level currently in the Northern Slopes region, which has its danger rating set at "very high". The rest of NSW is classed at "high" or "low-moderate".

The only out-of-control blaze listed on the Rural Fire Service's weather map is a  120 hectare bush and scrub fire burning near the Werrikimbe National Park about half-way between Port Macquarie and Tamworth. The fire is within containment lines and firefighters are working to strengthen them.

The fire danger rating points to the actions that need to be taken in the event of a fire rather than the likelihood of a bushfire.

People in areas classed as having a "very high", "high", or "low-moderate" threat level are advised to review their bush fire survival plans, stay informed, and be ready to act if necessary. Click here to see a full list of threat levels and the recommended actions that go with them.

Conditions are expected to intensify tomorrow on the Northern Rivers, with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting a high of 33C in parts of the region before easing again on Sunday.


UPDATE September 26, 2.24pm: AS the total fire ban continues on the Northern Rivers, firefighters near Taree are fighting to control a 5ha blaze burning out of control in the Kiwarrak State Forest.

The fire has been estimated to be moving at between 40km/h and 60km/h.

There are reports it has already destroyed one home and the Rural Fire Service says firefighters have had to close the  northbound lanes of the Pacific Highway so they can work from the roadway.

The Rural Fire Service says the fire is not currently threatening any other properties.

The area the fire is in currently has an "extreme" fire danger warning in place - the second highest warning level available.


8.30am: A TOTAL fire ban has been declared for the Northern Rivers today.

High temperatures and strong winds are expected to cause severe fire conditions across the region.

The total fire ban will remain in place until midnight tonight.

The Rural Fire Service currently lists the fire danger for the Northern Rivers as "severe" - the third-highest fire danger category.

The danger warning means, in the event of a bushfire, residents' safest option for survival is to leave early.

"Well prepared homes that are actively defended can provide safety - but only stay if you are physically and mentally prepared to defend in these conditions."

Anyone not already prepared to fight a fire when one breaks out should leave early.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting a sunny day with highs ranging between 27C and 34C with winds running around 25-35km/h. Winds are expected to ease overnight before picking up again tomorrow.

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