The koalas found by firefighters at the Myrtle Creek blaze did not survive, but Friends of the Koala vet nurse Marley Christian urged people to keep a lookout for others trying to escape fires burning across the North Coast.
The koalas found by firefighters at the Myrtle Creek blaze did not survive, but Friends of the Koala vet nurse Marley Christian urged people to keep a lookout for others trying to escape fires burning across the North Coast. contributed

Dire predictions for koalas caught in fires

A WILDLIFE expert says a significant number of koalas would have perished in fires still blazing across the North Coast.

Friends of the Koala vet nurse Marley Christian said, so far, firefighters had only managed to find two koalas at Myrtle Creek, near Rapville, south of Casino.

The Myrtle Creek fire is one of three fires still burning in the area.

"It's just awful,"Ms Christian said.

"Both koalas were found alive but one had smoke inhalation and the other extremely bad burns, so they both need to be euthanised.

"Fires are the worst thing for koalas, because they go up the trees for safety and eucalyptus pretty much explode, they are very flammable.

"For koalas fires are horrendous... fires are our worst fears for koalas."

Earlier today, Rural Fire Services public liaison officer Brad Stewart confirmed crews were currently attending two Richmond Valley fires at Clearfield Rd, Rappville and Brewers Rd, Kippenduff.

"Fire conditions at the Clearfield fire, which has burned over 6000 hectares, are moderate compared to the higher fire ratings we saw earlier in the week," he said.

He said said the northern-most part of fire is burning near Myrtle Creek Rd and Clearfield Rd and has crossed Summerland Way to the east and there continues to be active fire in small areas at this location.

"Firefighters will continue to consolidate containment lines on the eastern side of the fire throughout the day," he said.

Ms Christian urged anyone who found themselves driving near the fringe of any of the fires to be on the lookout for koalas and any other wildlife.

"When fires do happen the koalas in the area will come out on the roads, if they can get away," she said.

"If you see one, call Friends of the Koala, we can come any time."

Friends of the Koala 24 hour hotline on 6622 12 33 24 hours a day or WIRES on 6628 1898.



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