Emergency warning fire situation.
Emergency warning fire situation. NSWRFS

EMERGENCY WARNING: Bushfire threat escalates at Drake

UPDATE, 4.15pm: FOR the latest information on the Long Gully Rd fire, follow our rolling coverage here.

 

UPDATE, 3.20pm: AN EMERGENCY warning is now in place for the Long Gully Road fire, due to fire breaching containment lines in the Sandy Point area.

The fire is burning close to properties in the Sandy Hill area. Homes in the area of Macleods Creek Road are under threat.

The fire is continuing to burn south of the Bruxner Highway near Drake and Tabulam, to the west of the Clarence River, in the Girard State Forest.

Strong winds are being experienced. Fallen trees and fire may impact local roads.

The Bruxner Highway is closed between Tabulam and Tenterfield. Check Live Traffic for updates.

Advice

  • If you are in the Sandy Hill area, make your final preparations now. Seek shelter as the fire impacts to protect yourself from the heat of the fire.
  • If you are in the area of Drake, Ewingar, Tilbaroo and areas on the western side of the Clarence River, put your bush fire survival plan into action now.
  • Areas on the eastern side of the Clarence River should monitor conditions closely. Ensure you know what you will do if the fire impacts on your property.
  • If you live in the area but are away from your home, it may not be safe to return to your property.

 

UPDATE, 12.50pm: STRONG winds could change plans to use aircrafts to assist with the fires in Northern NSW, as crews continue to battle blazes across the region.

A RFS Northern Rivers spokesman said due to the strong wind conditions, it is yet uncertain whether an aircraft will be brought in this afternoon to help fight the growing fire.

"Southerly winds hit two hours ago at Brooms Head and they're also affected our fires at Shark Creek," he said.

"The strong winds are the main concern for firefighters at the moment.

"We'll see how we get on this afternoon."

Meanwhile, the Bruxner Highway remains closed at Drake as emergency services deal with the fires consuming more than 40,000 ha.

In an online update, the RFS said: "The fire has progressed towards Timbarra.

"Strong winds are expected to continue. Fallen trees and fire may impact local roads."

More to come.

 

UPDATE, 12.30pm: WORK is continuing to reinforce containment lines at the Long Gully Rd fire near Drake.

Earthworks contractor Mark Hughes said he was on his way to assist firefighters at Ewingar.

Speaking from the cab of his truck, the Tenterfield-based business owner said he had driven down the Bruxner Highway past firefighters keeping the bushfire at bay.

"I've been tasked to go out to Frasers Creek to put a containment line in from there," he said.

"Depends on the country's like, if it's stony or rock, you could do 500m an hour if you're lucky, or 3-4km an hour.

"I've been going since Friday, on the Long Gully fire."

Meanwhile, the Frazers Cutting Rural Fire Brigade took to social media to plead for more volunteers.

"A huge thanks to all brigade members manning Frazers Cutting 7 over the last few days on the Long Gully fire," they wrote.

"Sadly, this fire is the fifth major fire in the Tenterfield Shire inside the last seven months.

"If you're thinking about volunteering to help in any way, stop, think no more, get along to your brigade and DO IT."

A bushfire is approaching the township of Drake.
A bushfire is approaching the township of Drake. Marc Stapelberg

 

UPDATE 10.44am:  A BUSHFIRE that is threatening the township of Drake is still at a "Watch and Act" advice level.

A bush fire is burning in the Long Gully Road, Drake area.

The fire has burnt more than 40,000 hectares and is out of control.

In an update posted online late this morning, the RFS says the bushfire is burning in bushland south of the Bruxner Highway and south of Drake and Tabulam, to the west of the Clarence River, in the Girard State Forest.

"The fire is burning in a north easterly direction along Long Gully Road and Plains Station Road, towards the Bruxner Highway and the villages of Drake and Tabulam.

"It is expected to reach the area of Drake and the Bruxner Highway.

"Firefighters worked overnight with property owners along both these roads to protect properties as the fire front approached. The fire has progressed towards Timbarra.

"Strong winds are expected to continue. Fallen trees and fire may impact local roads.

"The Bruxner Highway is closed between Tabulam and Tenterfield. Check Live Traffic for updates."

Advice

If you are in the area of Drake, Ewingar, Tilbaroo and areas on the western side of the Clarence River, put your bush fire survival plan into action now.

Well prepared and actively defended properties can offer protection.

Areas on the eastern side of the Clarence River should monitor conditions closely. Ensure you know what you will do if the fire impacts on your property.

If you live in the area but are away from your home, it may not be safe to return to your property.

Other Information

  • An Evacuation Centre at Tenterfield Showgrounds, 62 Miles St, Tenterfield is open today from 8am to 8pm.
  • Members of the public can register their details prior to attending the Evacuation Centre. Visit the Register Find Reunite site at https://register.redcross.org.au and register for the 'Bushfire in Tenterfield'.
  • If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.
  • Continue to stay up to date with the bush fire situation by checking http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, listening to your local radio station or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.
  • For information on road closures, check http://livetraffic.rta.nsw.gov.au. Roads may be closed without warning.

 

UPDATE, 8.50am:  FIREFIGHTERS battling the Long Gully Road Fire at Drake will have much-needed aerial support today.

The fire has burned nearly 40,000ha.

NSW Rural Fire Service media spokesman Ben Shepard said conditions have eased after Monday's gusts kept the air fleet grounded.

"Today after 10am firefighters will see fixed wing and rotary-winged aircraft active," he said.

"The aircraft will be sent where they are most needed and shared across different fires."

More to come.

 

Original story: A BUSHFIRE that is threatening the township of Drake is still at a "Watch and Act" advice level this morning.

The Bruxner Highway has been closed between Tabulam and Tenterfield as firefighters battle to protect homes in the area.

More than 40,000 hectares of land has been burnt and the blaze is still listed as being out of control.

In an update posted online this morning, the RFS says the bushfire is burning in bushland south of the Bruxner Highway and south of Drake and Tabulam, to the west of the Clarence River, in the Girard State Forest.

"The fire is burning in a north easterly direction along Long Gully Road and Plains Station Road, towards the Bruxner Highway and the villages of Drake and Tabulam," the RFS explains.

"It is expected to reach the area of Drake and the Bruxner Highway.

"Firefighters worked overnight with property owners along both these roads to protect properties as the fire front approached.

"The fire has progressed towards Timbarra.

"Strong winds are expected to continue. Fallen trees and fire may impact local roads.

"The Bruxner Highway is closed between Tabulam and Tenterfield. Check Live Traffic for updates."

Residents prepare for the impact of the Drake bushfire.
Residents prepare for the impact of the Drake bushfire. Marc Stapelberg

An RFS spokeswoman told ABC North Coast this morning that crews had done a "considerable amount" of property protection overnight.

"The intent is to hold the fire on the southern side of the Bruxner Highway if possible," she said.

"Without significant rainfall, it may be burning for some time

"We have plenty of firefigthers on the ground and we have more on call if needed."

Advice

If you are in the area of Drake, Ewingar, Tilbaroo and areas on the western side of the Clarence River, put your bush fire survival plan into action now.

Well prepared and actively defended properties can offer protection.

Areas on the eastern side of the Clarence River should monitor conditions closely. Ensure you know what you will do if the fire impacts on your property.

If you live in the area but are away from your home, it may not be safe to return to your property.

Other Information

  • An Evacuation Centre at Tenterfield Showgrounds, 62 Miles St, Tenterfield is open today from 07:00hrs to 23:00hrs.
  • Members of the public can register their details prior to attending the Evacuation Centre. Visit the Register Find Reunite site at https://register.redcross.org.au and register for the 'Bushfire in Tenterfield'.
  • If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.
  • Continue to stay up to date with the bush fire situation by checking http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, listening to your local radio station or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.
  • For information on road closures, check http://livetraffic.rta.nsw.gov.au. Roads may be closed without warning.


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