Intensifying fire conditions have led to the stationing of two fixed-wing fire bombers at Casino Aerodrome this week.
Intensifying fire conditions have led to the stationing of two fixed-wing fire bombers at Casino Aerodrome this week. Chris Ison

Fire bombers arrive at Casino

TWO fixed-wing fire bombers will be stationed at Casino Aerodrome in response to the elevated bushfire risk over the weekend.

About 400 lightning strikes were recorded during Wednesday night in the area north and west of Casino, meaning several potential fires could develop over the weekend, according to RFS Northern Rivers Superintendent Boyd Townsend said.

"There's an elevated risk of ignition there - we're making sure we have the capacity to strike early," he said.

Both aircraft are now being used to lay fire retardant around a small fire 10km south of Woodenbong at the peak of the Edinburgh Castle State Forest.

"It certainly started from one of the lightning strikes on Wednesday night," Superintendent Townsend said.

The Edinburgh Castle, remnants of an ancient volcano core, is inaccessible by foot.

"The intention is to put some ground crews on it from the air tomorrow… we're looking at the possibility of using helicopters to drop them on the mountain," Superintendent Townsend said.

"The presence of this fire heightens our concern about some of the other fires that might have started from the lightning strikes on Wednesday evening."

An RFS volunteer fire spotter plane is also covering a large area from Tenterfield across to Tweed Heads and south to Grafton to look for signs of smoke.

A total fire ban will continue over the weekend as hot north-west winds is expected to lift temperatures to 42 degrees around Lismore.



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