FIRE EMERGENCY: 'It's not looking good'
"IT'S not looking good."
Those were the concerned words from Tabulam Hotel barman Damien Ensby as he watched fire crews descend on the town.
He said the town was blanketed in "lots of smoke" and crews from Lismore and Casino Fire & Rescue were being joined by RFS teams from as far afield as Alphadale to help protect the town.
He said the Jubullum Aboriginal settlement had been evacuated and Tabulam township was next.
Mr Ensby said the fire had already swept through the Tabulam Racecourse and was moving towards Casino.
He said evacuating residents were being directed to the Mara Seeds Car Park at Sandy Hills.
Mr Ensby said everyone was feeling "pretty unsure' and said it looked like it would be worse than the fire last year.
He said crews were busy working on containment lines.
Tabulam resident Barry Atkinson lives on Plains Station Rd, 10km south of the town and said he can see the smoke from his front porch.
"We are 10km form the highway and I can see the smoke coming up," he said.
"The wind is blowing a northly-west towards us, hopefully we want have to evacuate.
Mr Atkinson said the windy conditions means the smoke is blowing very rapidly.
"The smoke is at 45 degrees it's quite gusty," he said.
"It looks like the smoke is spreading across the highway."
Mr Atkinson said he is keeping up with the situation through news and social media updates and alerts
"I'm keeping an eye on things," he said.
"We are surrounded by farmland paddocks with no long grass or trees."