A smoke cloud caused by the Drake bushfire.
A smoke cloud caused by the Drake bushfire. NSW RFS - Northern Rivers Zone

WATCH: Fire situation 'not looking good at Drake'

UPDATE, 11.15am: ERRATIC weather is adding complexity to highly variable and dangerous fire conditions as firefighters continue to battle the out-of-control Long Gully Road Fire at Drake.

RFS District Officer Angus McDowall said the potential for fires escalating today cannot be ignored.

"The concern for all of our firegrounds today is a wind conversion zone as we have winds from the west and east converge in the middle," he said,.

"So these highly variable conditions adds an extra layer of complexity."

Mr McDowall said on Monday fires broke containment lines at Red Rock to jump the Bruxner Highway.

"Yesterday fires burned 8km north including to within 1km of Drake," he said.

"The Long Gully Road Fire has now burned more than 61,5000 ha after the strong easterly wind came through yesterday at 1pm."

He said out of area strike teams and local crews from National Parks and Wildlife, Fire & Rescue NSW and NSW Forestry are supporting local crews.

"We are having very erratic weather here with bushfires while it is apparently snowing in the Blue Mountains," he said.

"The Bruxner Hwy remains closed are there is still significant danger of falling trees around Drake and the RFS and Roads and Maritime continue to work on this."


UPDATE 9.50am: BUSHFIRE Recovery meetings, one each at Tenterfield and Drake will be held today for residents affected by the recent fires.

The Tenterfield community bushfire recovery meeting will be held today at Tenterfield Memorial Hall, 96 Molesworth St, from 11am.

It will include a drought one-stop-shop support services from 10am to 2pm.

Support services include Disaster Welfare, Rural Financial Counsellors, Rural Adversity Mental Health, Legal Aid and more.

The Drake meeting will be held on Wednesday at Drake community hall from 1pm with a barbecue from 12:30pm.

However the NSW Disaster Recovery advise this meeting, "may be rescheduled to later this week depending on the state on the fires near the area."

Updates will be provided by Council, RFS and Local Land Services, and a range of support services will be available on the day.

Please share this with people you know who are impacted. Also, if you are outside of Tenterfield and Drake, support is also available through the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.


ORIGINAL STORY: A BUSHFIRE that is raging near Drake and Tabulam has now burnt more than 60,000 hectares and is still at a Watch and Act alert level.

The fire was upgraded to Emergency Warning yesterday afternoon, but the Rural Fire Service says the immediate threats to homes has now eased.

NSW RFS Northern Rivers Zone took to Facebook last night to thank their hardworking firefighters, the local community and corporations for their help.

"The Casino Airbase remains hard at work supporting many aircraft flying to the Long Gully Fire at Drake," they wrote in their post.

"Casino Airbase is the closest airport able to load gel and fire retardant for the five aircraft working today (Monday).

"Twenty loads today delivered, refuelling for those aircraft, other helicopters and the Birddog that guides the 737, all from Casino.

"It requires a lot of water and we are working closely with Richmond Valley Council to use water from the Woodview Quarry rather than using the Casino town water supply.

"So far we have only used rain water collected in our dedicated water tank at the Fire Control Centre that holds around 250,000 litres that is held for this purpose.

"We also had over 20,000 litres of non potable water delivered unexpectedly by Carlton United Breweries today that are providing water to fire affected communities to help in the effort to fight the fires.

"Great support from community and corporations such as this."


Advice for residents

The fire has crossed Cheviot Hills Road and is burning towards Sugarbag Road and Ramsay Road.

The southern edge of the fire continues to burn towards the area of Poverty Point, Surface Hill and Sandy Creek area.

The Bruxner Highway is currently closed in some locations.

Residents in the areas of Drake, Red Rock Road and Rover Park should follow their bush fire survival plans and know what they will do if conditions change.

The same advice applies to those in Ewingar, Sandy Place, Tilbaroo and areas on the western side of the Clarence River.

Monitor conditions closely if you are on the eastern side of the Clarence River.


Other Information

  • Drake primary school will be closed on Tuesday 17 September.
  • Tabulam Public School will be open on Tuesday 17 September.
  • A Disaster Assistance Point will be open at Drake Information Centre, Fairfield Street, Drake between 1:00pm and 4:00pm throughout Monday to Friday.
  • Tenterfield Disaster Assistance will be open at Tenterfield Council Chambers from 9:00am to 5:00pm throughout Monday to Friday.
  • You can register your details prior to visiting 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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