Roads re-opened as firefighters mop up following the containment of the Bungawalbin National Park fire.
Roads re-opened as firefighters mop up following the containment of the Bungawalbin National Park fire. Jay Cronan

Bungawalbin fire finally contained

MOPPING-UP operations are continuing in the Bungawalbin National Park, near Coraki.

Improving conditions allowed the Rural Fire Service (RFS) to reopen the Myall Creek Road late yesterday afternoon. However, the service has warned people using the road to be extremely careful, particularly regarding smoke, and to drive to the conditions.

Drivers are also warned to watch out for National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) fire crews, who will be patrolling containment lines for the next few days.

RFS community safety officer Superintendent Boyd Townsend said firefighters had identified several problems while assessing the area with the NSW Fire Brigade’s thermal imaging equipment, brought in from Casino.

The equipment is used to detect burning trees and tree bases not visible to the naked eye.

“NPWS crews have dealt with those and the road is as safe as we can accurately determine at this stage,” he said.

“We apologise for the inconvenience, but obviously we have to consider the safety of drivers and firefighters.

“There are some very big trees down there and we had to make sure there was no risk to people driving through.”

Supt Townsend also warned that although general conditions looked good, the Northern Rivers was currently in the grip of a ‘green drought’.

“The moisture indicators are currently screaming through the roof and the Bungawalbin fire illustrates that bushland areas are still very dry,” he said.

“People need to continue to take precautions as there is no great rainfall forecast for the next seven days.

“Humidity is also falling and temperatures are climbing into the mid-30s again.”

With a hot dry summer forecast, Supt Townsend warned all Northern Rivers residents to be adequately prepared.

Meanwhile, a fire is also burning in timber plantations at Tunglebung and Bottle Creek, west of Casino.

“Fire crews were out there today back burning and a detailed survey of that fire will be carried out tomorrow by air, but there is no immediate threat to people or property,” Supt Townsend said.



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