Firebug blamed for Evans bushfire
By HELEN JACK
BUSHFIRE authorities now say a blaze that has so far destroyed 2500 hectares of bushland near Evans Head was deliberately lit.
An investigation is under way to see if the person who started the fire can be found. Authorities have issued a warning that firebugs this summer will face jail sentences up to 14 years if caught.
A total of 80 bushfire fighting crews are battling the fire in Bundjalung National Park and there were warnings yesterday the fire, which is moving steadily, could spread if conditions deteriorated overnight, with a blustery southerly due to sweep the region.
The blaze started at the Gumma Garra picnic area on Sunday, and campers at the nearby Black Rocks and Jerusalem camping grounds were told to evacuate as a precaution.
Rural Fire Service spokeswoman Heather Lloyd said crews from other regions had been brought in.
"Crews are arriving from as far away as Gwydir, Narrabri and Coonabarabran," she said.
"Fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters continue to support ground operations by waterbombing the blaze.
"This is not the worst fire I've seen, but we are concerned because of predicted high temperatures and strong winds."
Firebreaks established near the source had successfully protected nearby houses, but residents of Korrindiri Ridge have been advised to fireproof their homes.