Fires burning in the Tenterfield area.
Fires burning in the Tenterfield area. Angus McDowall

'VERY DANGEROUS': Emergency message regarding fires

WHAT WE KNOW: 

  • EMERGENCY WARNING: Myall Rd, BORA RIDGE. Fire is out of control and threatening houses.
  • EMERGENCY WARNING: Gulf Rd & Silent Grove Rd areas, TORRINGTON near Tenterfield. Fire is out of control. 
  • WATCH & ACT: Wardell Rd, WARDELL Fire. Fire is out of control. Traffic on the Pacific Highway is affected in both directions and the highway is expected to close at any moment. 
  • The New England Hwy is closed between Tenterfield and Glen Innes due to fire.

 

LATEST UPDATE: THIS is an Emergency Warning from the NSW Rural Fire Service.

There is a large number of fires burning across the north coast and northern NSW areas.
This includes fires in the areas of:

• Tenterfield
• Armidale
• Clarence Valley
• Port Macquarie
• Nambucca
• Kempsey and
• Mid-Coast areas.

A number of these fires are at EMERGENCY WARNING level.

These fires are very dangerous.

If you are near these fires, your life is at risk and you need to take action to protect your life.

Stay up to date on bush fires in your area through the NSW RFS website, the Fires Near Me NSW Smartphone application, local radio, and social media.

If you are near a fire at Emergency Warning level, take action now to protect your life.

If you are threatened by fire, seek shelter in a solid structure and protect yourself from the heat of the fire.
Remember - a safe location may be nearby, such as a well cleared area, a well prepared and defended property, or a Neighbourhood Safer Place.

Roads may be closed, or impacted by fire. Do not be caught in a car or on foot in a fire. Avoid travel to these areas.

Remember -
• Stay up to date on fires in your area.
• If you are threatened by fire, seek shelter and protect yourself from  the heat of the fire.
• Do not be caught in a car or on foot in a fire.
• If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero.
Regular updates are available on the NSW RFS website at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, through local radio, on the RFS Twitter and Facebook pages, and the Fires Near Me app.

 

UPDATE 5.24pm: ESSENTIAL Energy is urgently reminding the public to stay away from fallen powerlines after a member of the public received a mild shock when they picked up a powerline. He is currently being medically assessed.

"As winds and storm activity increases, we implore members of the public to stay clear when powerlines are near, and call 13 20 80 to report fallen powerlines," Paul McWilliam, Operations Manager - Ranges said.

 

UPDATE 4.41pm: ROCKY Creek Dam has been closed due to a fire around nightcap National Park.

As a safety precaution the dam park will be closed to the public over the weekend.

Please check Rous County Council website for further information and updates.
www.rous.nsw.gov.au

 

UPDATE, 2.10pm: NEARLY 800 firefighters are saving lives and property across the state as strong winds, high temperatures and low humidity create havoc with around 90 bushfires.

>>> Wardell fire upgraded to Watch & Act level

Rural Fire Services spokesman Greg Allan said conditions were horrendous.

"Expect more emergency warnings," he said.

"We are seeing very dangerous conditions right across the state where five areas are in Total Fire Ban with two under extreme including the Far North Coast.

"And we will see a lot more activity in these regions."

Mr Allan said as of 2pm on Friday, NSW had nine fires each on Emergency Warning and on Watch and Act levels.

"Our total bushfires across the state number more than 85 but this is fluctuating and more than likely we will see more fires and more rise to Emergency Warning," he said.

"With around 750 firefighters using 300 fire vehicles, 68 aircraft including two large air tankers, 250 support crew and Incident Management Team members we have over 1000 people working on fires right now.

"There's also a great deal of heavy machinery being used to put in and maintain containment lines."

Mr Allan said the RFS was being ably assisted by other agencies.

"There's a full effort with local firefighters supported by out-of-area and interstate crews, also from National Parks, Fire & Rescue, Parks, Forestry and he State Emergency Service," he said.

Public Information and Inquiry Centre

THIS has been opened to assist members of the public in relation to bush fire information for the Northern Rivers, Clarence Valley, Mid North Coast, and Manning Great Lakes areas.

The telephone number to call is 1800 227 228.

Members of the public are reminded to delay all non-essential travel in fire affected areas to assist emergency services.

Avoid dangers such as damaged powerlines and the possibility of asbestos in fire-damaged properties.

Monitor emergency websites, including www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, as well as your regular media news sources for updated advice and warnings.

 

UPDATE, 1.50pm: FIREFIGHTERS have reported a structure fire at Tom Toy Ave, Torrington.

The fire was reported at 1.06pm.

The structure fire is east of the Gulf Rd Fire at Torrington which has burned more than 27,006ha so far.

 

UPDATE 12.52pm: AS THE Gulf Road Fire, which is rated as Emergency Warning, continues to devastate the Torrington area, a separate bushfire has been detected at nearby Silent Grove Rd.

At around 12.14pm, the Rural Fire Service advised residents of the incident.

More to come.

 

UPDATE, 11.55am: RESIDENTS have been advised by firefighters to take shelter as the bush fire is burning in the Gulf Road, Torrington area has escalated to have burned more than 18,100ha and is still out of control.

The fire is burning to the west of Silent Grove Road.

Crews are working to minimise the spread of the fire, ahead of worsening conditions predicted for later today.

If you are in the areas of Torrington, Silent Grove, Wolfram Hill, Tungsten, Maids Valley and Mole River, seek shelter as the fire approaches. Protect yourself from the heat of the fire.

Check and follow your Bush Fire Survival Plan and prepare for a bush fire in your area. If your plan is to leave, or you are not prepared, leave early.

 

UPDATE, 10am: THE bush fire burning in the Gulf Road, Torrington area has been elevated to Emergency Warning after conditions have worsened.

The NSW Rural Fire Service said the fire is burning to the west of Silent Grove Road, and crews are working to minimise the spread of the fire ahead of worsening conditions predicted for later today.

The fire has burnt more than 13,385 hectares and is currently deemed out of control.

The NSW RFS said if you are in the areas of Silent Grove, Maids Valley and Mole River to monitor conditions, and know what you will do if the fire threatens.

They advise residents to check and follow your Bush Fire Survival Plan and prepare for a bush fire in your area. If your plan is to leave, or you are not prepared, leave early.

  • If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.
  • Continue to stay up to date with the bush fire situation by checking http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, listening to your local radio station or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.
  • For information on road closures, check http://livetraffic.rta.nsw.gov.au. Roads may be closed without warning.

 

Original story: AS DANGEROUS, hot and windy conditions continue to create havoc for firefighters, the Gulf Rd bushfire in the Torrington area has burned more than 13,385 hectares and is still out of control.

Friday November 8 has an extreme fire danger rating and on Thursday the Gulf Rd Fire west of Tenterfield soared from Advice to Emergency level in a very short time.

Senior firefighters warn fire activity is expected to increase today as conditions worsen and the fires is burning to the west of Silent Grove Road.

Crews are on scene working to contain the blaze.

Advice

If you are in the areas of Silent Grove, Maids Valley and Mole River monitor conditions in case the situation changes.

Check and follow your Bush Fire Survival Plan.

What the fire ratings mean

In a total fire ban no fire may be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended. This includes incinerators and barbecues which burn solid fuel such wood, charcoal or heat beads. No general purpose welding, grinding, soldering or gas cutting can be done in the open.

Fire permits are cancelled during a total fire ban, and lighting a fire on a day of total fire ban attracts an on the spot fine of $2200.

If the matter goes to court, you could be subject to a fine of up to $5500 and/or 12 months jail, while civil law suits can also be brought against the person responsible for a fire by those seeking compensation for losses sustained.

What you should never do

Never light a campfire

Never light a fire in the open (not for cooking, nor recreational purposes)

Portable gas/electric barbecues are banned in NSW State Forests, National Parks or Regional Parks on Total Fire Ban days. (NOTE: In some cases you may be able to use gas or electric barbecues constructed by the NSW National Park or State Forest in specified picnic areas)

Don't carry out welding, grinding, soldering, or gas cutting works in the open, or anything likely to cause sparks

No burning off of any kind in the open (includes burning grass, weeds, leaves, rubbish).

When caution must be used:

Using incinerators (may be banned in some areas), strict conditions apply

Using a harvester - so long as; any heated area does not come into contact with combustible matter: machinery is in good and serviceable condition; machinery is fitted with a spark arrester; and the machinery has fire safety equipment on board. Insurance companies may impose their own restrictions

You can light a gas or electric barbecue on your own property, so long as it is under the direct control of a responsible adult; has 2m clearance around the barbecue of anything which can burn.

Gas barbecues must be on a residential property within 20m of a house or dwelling, with immediate access to a continuous supply of water.

Other Information

If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Continue to stay up to date with the bush fire situation by checking http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, listening to your local radio station or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.

For information on road closures, check http://livetraffic.rta.nsw.gov.au.

Roads may be closed without warning.


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