8 homes lost in 'hellish' fire conditions near Tenterfield
FIREFIGHTERS said weather conditions were "hellish" on Friday when a bush fire tore through the Torrington State Forest before threatening a number of remote Tenterfield Shire communities.
Tenterfield mayor Peter Petty said the community was "doing well all things considered" following the fire.
Cr Petty said eight homes were destroyed in the village of Torrington on Friday after the Gulf Road fire was blown east in dangerous conditions.
Cr Petty, who was on his way to Torrington, said the Tenterfield Shire Council had been offering residents "as much support as possible during this difficult time".
"We're just trying to do all we can to help the community," he said.
However the danger isn't over yet, with NSW Rural Fire Service firefighters and other emergency services trying to bring the fire under control.
A NSW RFS spokesman said the Gulf Road fire is currently being controlled and is burning in the Emmaville and Stannum areas, having burnt more than 63,000 hectares.
"The fire breached containment lines on Tuesday and is burning on multiple fronts," he said.
"There is fire activity near properties along Emmaville Road, south of Torrington.
"Firefighters are getting the upper hand on this fire and will continue to consolidate and strengthen containment lines."
Cr Petty praised the efforts of firefighters and said it was to their credit lives had not been lost.
"The RFS are doing the best they can, but conditions aren't good," he said.
"And it's not over yet. Everyone is fully aware of what is happening and we'll all be watching the situation over coming days."
Member for Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, who is also the Minister for Agriculture and Western New South Wales, has visited the region and said his "heart breaks for all those affected by bushfires once again ravaging the eastern parts of our region".
"For residents and scores of other landholders, it'd be devastating," he said.
"If it isn't hard enough being gripped by the worst drought in history, going broke, losing farms, jobs, livelyhoods and everything else. A fire rips through their heart taking all that is left with it.
"It's nothing short of a tragic disaster, on top of an existing disaster, for those who need and deserve it the least."
An evacuation centre has been set up at Glen Innes Showground, and a number of local schools have been closed across the shire today, including Mingoola Public School.
Tenterfield Shire Council has announced due to the recent bush fires around the Torrington area, the Torrington Waste Transfer Station is closed until further notice.
The council said should residents have any concerns, to contact council's water and waste manager on 0427 248 273.