Multiple homes destroyed as bushfires rage


The NSW Rural Fire Service issued three emergency warnings this morning for fires at Hillville, near Taree, Torrington, near Tenterfield and Crowdy Bay near Harrington.

A bushfire covering more than 1160 hectares is burning out of control on Hillville Rd and in the Talawahl Nature Reserve.

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

People in Coates Trail, Possum Brush and Rainbow Flat who plan to leave are being told to leave now and head towards Tuncurry.

The bushfire seen from an aged care centre in Forster. Picture: Jacki Pocock/FacebookSource:Facebook

The second out of control fire in Torrington is burning on Gulf Rd and has destroyed more than 18,000 hectares.

People in the areas of Torrington, Silent Grove, Wolfram Hill, Tungsten, Maids Valley and Mole River are being urged to seek shelter as the fire approaches and follow their bushfire plans.

The fire at Crowdy Bay National Park area has burnt more than 2000 hectares and is spreading towards the Harrington area.

Firefighters and aircraft are working to protect homes from the blaze.

A Forster resident told news.com.au that a fire had been burning for a few days nearby but conditions became a lot worse yesterday causing it to flare up.

“It has truly been so wild,” she said.

”I never thought it would happen somewhere so suburban.”

By 11am today there were 74 fires burning across NSW, with 33 of them not contained.

Multiple homes have reportedly been destroyed across the Port Macquarie, Hastings and Walcha areas.

NSW RFS warned that today’s conditions are extremely dangerous and “will be worse than yesterday”.

“[There is a] very real potential of fires spreading quickly to threaten communities and destroy homes,” the RFS said in a Facebook post.

Five total fire bans are in place across the state today including the Far North Coast, New England, North Coast, Northern Slopes and Greater Hunter regions.

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said bush and grassfires are currently burning through about 370,000 hectares of land across NSW – more than the entire land area burnt last year.

A water bombing plane drops fire retardant on a bushfire at Forster. Picture: Dan Kirkman, Something Visual/AAP

A water bombing plane drops fire retardant on a bushfire at Forster. Picture: Dan Kirkman, Something Visual/AAPSource:AAP

A water bombing helicopter is seen through a smoke haze in Forster. Picture: Dan Kirkman, Something Visual/AAP

A water bombing helicopter is seen through a smoke haze in Forster. Picture: Dan Kirkman, Something Visual/AAPSource:AAP

“We’ve got a lot of uncontrolled fire right across northeastern NSW and we’ve got the worst of the weather forecast for northeast NSW today, five areas in total (with a) fire ban,” Mr Fitzsimmons told ABC.

“We’re talking about widespread, severe fire dangers being predicted today, we’re talking about the upper end of the scale – a lot worse than yesterday.”

The escalated fire risk comes after a man, aged in his 50s, suffered serious burns to his legs and hands while trying to defend his rural property in Yarrowitch, east of Walcha, on Thursday.

“We need people to be absolutely prepared – we need them to be monitoring local radio, the (RFS) website,” Mr Fitzsimmons said.

“The entire corner of northeast NSW is really vulnerable, simply because of the extraordinary fire behaviour and activity yesterday and overnight.”





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