Firefighters continued to battle blazes in the grafton region yesterday.
Firefighters continued to battle blazes in the grafton region yesterday.

Villagers look back at 2001 fire

FEARFUL Wooloweyah residents are praying the village did not use up all its luck in 2001, when a wind change pushed a massive bushfire away from houses.

Eight years on, residents are looking at the fuel-laden, tinder-dry Yuraygir National Park and hoping another fire burning south of the Brooms Head Road does not leave its containment zone and head their way as it did last time.

For Yvonne Watts the images from 2001 are still fresh in her mind.

She was delivering drinks to firefighters holding the fire out of Wooloweyah when the blaze jumped the containment lines. Fortunately the wind direction shifted soon after and the village was saved, but it was close.

Residents are furious with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, which they say has promised hazard reduction burns around the village for the past three years.

“They told me that each time they were going to do a burn, it rained or something happened to make conditions not right,” Mrs Watts said. “It hasn't been raining for three years.”

A Rural Fire Service volunteer said a radiation zone protecting houses in Pegus Drive will not stop a fire from entering the village.

Residents fear being trapped in the village with only one road out of town, and late yesterday they began to think about evacuating.



Musical group director heads from big scrub to big city

premium_icon Musical group director heads from big scrub to big city

orthern Rivers arts group director returns from a trip to the US

How this Ballina mum juggles kids and a thriving business

premium_icon How this Ballina mum juggles kids and a thriving business

"Kids are amazing but... having a passion is fulfilling as well”

Fires are starting to hit home

Fires are starting to hit home

People’s lives have been hit: firebugs take advantage of conditions

Local Partners