Fire activity has increased near New Italy and Bungawalbin.
Fire activity has increased near New Italy and Bungawalbin. Marc Stapelberg

EMERGENCY FIRE WARNING: 'Significant concern' for residents

READ OUR ROLLING UPDATES ON NORTHERN NSW FIRES FOR FRIDAY NOV 15 HERE.

WHAT WE KNOW:

  • Myall Creek Road, Bora Ridge: EMERGENCY WARNING, out of control.
  • The fire is expected to impact on the areas of Bungawalbin, New Italy and The Gap.
  • A state of emergency and total fire ban is still in place.
  • Mt Nardi fire: Advice, remains out of control, impacting areas around Terania Creek, Tuntable Ck, Tuntable Falls, Huonbrook, Federal.
  • Wardell fire: Advice level, under control.
  • Border Trail, Woodenbong: Advice, remains out of control.
  • Summerland Way closed between Mt Lindesay and Qld border
  • Bungawalbin/Whiporie Rd is closed due to fire, between Moonem/New Italy Rd and the Summerland Way.

Important contact information during the bushfires:

  • Call 000 in an emergency
  • People in affected areas should register online with Register Find Reunite.
  • Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.
  • For general information and assistance call the Public Information Inquiry Centre on 1800 227 228.
  • For information on preparing for bushfires go to the RFS website for update.
  • Listen to your local radio stations, especially the ABC, and monitor the NSW Police Facebook site.

 

UPDATE 5.28pm: RE-ESTABLISHMENT of communications infrastructure on Boggy Creek Road, Bungawalbin, has been postponed due to fire activity.

An Essential Energy crew is on standby ready to reconnect the sub station once conditions improve.

There have been unplanned interruptions to services along the Bungawalbin-Whiporie Road due to fire damage.

Please check the Essential Energy website for updates, or call 13 20 80

 

UPDATE 4.23pm: THE RFS advise if you are in the area of Neileys Lagoon and Yellow Crossing, shelter as the fire approaches. Protect yourself from the heat of the fire. If you are in the area of Williams Road, Whites Road and New Italy know what to do if a fire approaches.

If you are in the area of Mahogany Road and Forest Road, watch out for burning embers which may start spot fires ahead of the main fire front.

If you are in the area of Boggy Creek Road, Eucalyptus Drive and Swan Bay, monitor conditions.

Bungawalbin/Whiporie Rd is closed due to fire, between Moonem/New Italy Rd and the Summerland Way.

The Pacific Hwy has reduced the speed limit to 60km at New Italy near Turners Rd due to reduced visibility because of smoke.

What you need to do:
If you are threatened by fire, you may not get assistance.
If you are in these areas and your plan is to leave, or your property is not prepared, leave towards a safer location.
Safer locations include built up areas, well away from bushland.
If you are unable to leave, identify a safer location which may be nearby. This may include a cleared area well away from bushland, or an identified Neighbourhood Safer Place https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-…/neighbourhood-safer-places.
Avoid bushland areas.

If you are threatened by fire:
Do not be in the path of the fire.
Protect yourself from the heat of the fire. Wear protective clothing and footwear. Cover all exposed skin.
If the fire impacts, seek shelter in a solid structure to protect yourself from the heat of the fire.
If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero.

 

UPDATE 4.06pm: FIRE activity is increasing in the Border Trail, Mt Lindesay fire.

The fire is being pushed by variable winds further towards the east and south, particularly the Mount Lindesay Road and Grahams Creek Road areas.

Firefighters are working in the area trying to slow the fire spread.

Advice:

If you are in the area of Mount Lindesay Road or Grahams Creek Road, Woodenbong, continue to monitor the conditions. Know what you will do if the fire approaches.

 

UPDATE 3.46pm: RESIDENTS in the New Italy and Bungawalbin areas have been urged to seek shelter immediately as dangerous fire activity increases.

RFS public liaison officer Aaron Howard said they are experiencing increased variable wind conditions on two fronts.

The fire is impacting people near Moonem/New Italy Rd and Swan Bay/ New Italy Rd and pushing down into the area near Mahogany and Forest Road.

On the western side of the Bora Ridge fire, people at Bungawalbin near Bungawalbin/Whiporie Rd and Bungawalbin Creek have been issued emergency alerts.

Flame heights are increasing, and Mr Howard said there is significant concern for residents.

He said they should seek shelter now.

 

 

UPDATE 3.11pm: A TOTAL Fire Ban is in place tomorrow across much of eastern NSW, including the Far North Coast.

Impacted Local Government Areas include, Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed.

 

UPDATE 2.37pm: THE BUSH fire burning near Bungawalbin, New Italy and The Gap has been escalated to Emergency Warning. The fire has burnt more than 4600 hectares and is out of control.

Current Situation

The fire in burning in the area of Williams Road, Bungawalbin-Whipore Road and Whites Lane.

Northerly winds are pushing the fire south towards New Italy, Donaldson, and Doubleduke State Forest.

Spot fires have been record in the area around Mahogany Road and Forest Road.

The Pacific Highway is open, but visibility may be reduced due to smoke. Stay up to date with Live Traffic NSW.
Advice

If you are in the area of Bungawalbin-Whipore Road, Moonem New Italy Road and Reardons Lane, seek shelter as the fire approaches. Protect yourself from the heat of the fire.

If you are in the area of Williams Road, Whites Road and New Italy, know what to do if a fire approaches.

If you are in the area of Mahogany Road and Forest Road, watch out for burning embers which may start spot fires ahead of the main fire front.

If you are in the area of Boggy Creek Road, Eucalyptus Drive and Swan Bay, monitor conditions.

THE RFS has issued a warning to landowners burning off in the Myall Creek and Bora Ridge areas.

They have had reports of residents near the Myall Creek, Bora Ridge fire ground doing back burns to protect their properties.

"We understand that you want to protect you property, however, we ask you to not light any fires as this is very dangerous and can put yourself, your neighbours and firefighters at risk."

If you or your property are in danger, please call 000.

 

UPDATE 1.30pm: AN UPDATE on the Northern NSW fires was provided by NSW RFS.

Mt Nardi fire
A NSW RFS spokeswoman said the Mt Nardi fire was so "massive" that it would "take you all day" to drive around it.
WHILE conditions settled down over night as expected, properties in Tuntable Creek, Upper Coopers Creek and the north side of Doon Doon Commissioners Creek area remain under threat from the Mt Nardi fire.
More than 15 appliances and about 30 firefighters continue battling the blaze and protecting properties which is now more than 4500 hectares in size and continues to grow.
Northern Rivers RFS spokeswoman Angela Daly said many fires were still burning along the ridge lines of Whain Whain State Conservation area and Mt Jerusalem National Park and private properties in between.
"It has progressed outwards as expected but crews are monitoring those areas where it's coming out down to properties under threat," she said
"Like some of the other fires, we are in for the long haul with this fire.
Due to the terrain being "too inaccessible", she said there was "little to no containment lines in the fire", meaning crews would have to wait until the fire comes out to areas they can reach to extinguish it, or to areas they can potentially put in raft crews.
"There is so much fire edge, it's a matter of prioritising where we work because we can't work on it all, all at once.
"We are being quite strategic about that and developing containment strategies for the entire fire ground … working out where we can pull it up and where we can put in little strategic back burns and tie it in a little piece at a times."
With The fires predicted to continue burning over the coming weeks, and potentially months she urged residents  to vigilantly stay informed by talking to local fire fighters about their local specific street and area.
"People can continue expect to see the fire in the ridge tops and it will continue to come down into properties," she said.
"Some properties are in danger and this will continue to happen as the fire comes down to them, so a positive of this is some of those properties will have plenty of warning to act.
"As fire drops off ridgelines and cliffs- trees are falling and rocks are falling and that can spread the fire
"It's a terrain driven fire not a weather driven fire. Fire burns faster uphill than down and it will continue to burn out until crews can access it "

Wardell fire

A fire burning at Wardell is "looking quite good" and while there is still some internal burning , has been contained, NSW RFS spokeswoman Angela Daly says.
But Northern Rivers RFS spokeswoman Angela Daly said crews could expect small flare ups.
"It at patrol status but there may be some internal burning on that, but we do have a hard edge around that."


Woodenbong, Border Trail fire

Woodenbong and surrounding residents can expect to see an increase in smoke today as the wind changes and RFS begins backburning.
Northern Rivers RFS spokeswoman Angela Daly said with a northerly wind change, resident needed to keep up to date.
'We need see what affects those northerlies are going to have on that fire Ground," she said.

UPDATE 12.28pm: THE Woodenbong Rural Fire Brigade posted to Facebook conditions are not expected to improve for a while.

"The Lindsay Creek area is still being managed with fire obviously still moving towards Mt Lindsay Road. The Summerland Way is still closed towards the border due to fire still expected to impact the road.

"The fire edge is still moving towards Grahams Creek with crews and locals monitoring it's progress. The fire is also moving towards the Mt Clunie area but may take some time to get there. Strategies are being put in place to contain the fire in these areas.

"The fire yesterday was intense and with a fantastic effort from farmers, firies and machinery operators the fire was able to be kept from destroying any homes."

They said the fire is not able to be controlled in the bush at the moment because of the extreme conditions.

"Everyone is doing their best with the resources available as there is significant fires everywhere and fire brigades are stretched to their limit, however we have had great support from brigades around us." 

 

UPDATE 11am: A FIRE burning out of control at Myall Creek, Bora Ridge is the RFS's main fire of concern in the region today as fire fighters continue to work to protect properties in the area.

Northern Rivers RFS spokeswoman Angela Daly said the fire was more than 4000 hectares in size and because of spotting on Tuesday on Whites Lane on the Pacific Hwy, the fire was now burning in two areas of the of the Bungawalbin, New Italy and Swan Bay areas.

With more than 20 fire trucks and about 40-50 firefighters continue to battle the blazes today, additional crews are expected to join them today.

"There's quite a lot of fire that will continue to burn… crews have established some containment lines and are preparing more containment lines," Ms Daly said.

With northerly winds that would  push the fire in a southerly direction, Ms Daly urged residents in the areas of the Moonem-New Italy Road, Bungawalbin Rd, Whiporie Rd and Swans Bay areas and the area of New Italy to monitor the fire and be on high alert.

"That's where the main fire is. People need to know what to do if that fire threatens," she said.

UPDATE 10.40am: MYALL Creek Rd fire burning near Bungawalbin, New Italy and The Gap has escalated to Watch and Act. The fire is more than 4,520 hectares and is out of control.

The fire in burning in the area of Williams Road, Bungawalbin-Whipore Road and Whites Lane.

The northerly winds will push the fire south towards the New Italy, Donaldson, and Doubleduke State Forest.

The Pacific Highway is open, but visibility may be reduced due to smoke. Stay up to date with Live Traffic NSW.

Advice

  • If you are in the area of Williams Road, Bungawalbin-Whipore Road, Whites Road, Moonem New Italy Road and the area of New Italy, know what to do if a fire approaches.
  • If you are in the area of Boggy Creek Road, Eucalyptus Drive and Swan Bay, monitor conditions.
  • Watch out for burning embers which may start spot fires ahead of the main fire front.

What you need to do

  • If you are threatened by fire, you may not get assistance.
  • If you are in these areas and your plan is to leave, or your property is not prepared, leave towards a safer location.
  • Safer locations include built up areas, well away from bushland.
  • If you are unable to leave, identify a safer location which may be nearby. This may include a cleared area well away from bushland, or an identified Neighbourhood Safer Place https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/neighbourhood-safer-places.
  • Avoid bushland areas.


If you are threatened by fire

  • Do not be in the path of the fire.
  • Protect yourself from the heat of the fire. Wear protective clothing and footwear. Cover all exposed skin.
  • If the fire impacts, seek shelter in a solid structure to protect yourself from the heat of the fire.
  • If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero.

UPDATE 8am: ESSENTIAL Energy crews are now starting to move back into bushfire impacted areas of northern NSW to continue network restoration efforts.

Over 250 Essential Energy personnel are on the ground, working closely with the RFS and once given the all-clear, will be restoring power to around 2,200 customers currently experiencing power outages in communities including Taree, Kempsey, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Clarence Valley, Mullumbimby and surrounding areas, as at 9pm on Wednesday November 13.

Aerial patrols have indicated significant damage to the network, with more than 440 poles and associated electrical equipment destroyed by the fires in northern NSW.

This initial number is likely to increase as ground, drone and helicopter patrols on the network are completed over coming days.

Ongoing fire activity and dangerous firegrounds continue to restrict access to assess other parts of the network, and Essential Energy is cautioning the possibility of further outages if fires continue to take hold.

A state of emergency and total fire ban is still in place.

Brendon Neyland, Essential Energy's Acting General Manager Customer & Network Services, said "Looking after the
safety of the local community and our people is always our priority. As this response continues, we're ensuring our
local crews are supported with additional Essential Energy personnel coming from other areas across NSW."

Electricity has been restored to multiple home and businesses since the bushfire crisis escalated last week.

Essential Energy is continuing to coordinate responses with the Rural Fire Service and other agencies, locating key
personnel in their Emergency Operational Centres to ensure an effective response.

"We want to thank the community for all their support, but also for their understanding and patience. The reality is that we're still working with many unknown factors - we don't know when we'll be able to safely access the network again - but we do know that we're working as hard as possible to get the power back on," Mr Neyland said.

The below may help give an indication of progress and challenges, and help customers plan over the coming days:

Clarence Valley LGA

Just over 200 customers in the vicinity of Nymboida, Blaxlands Creek, Blaxlands Flat and Coutts Crossing are without power given the extensive damage to the electrical network and challenges with vegetation.

Crews are now progressing well, with power to be progressively restored over the next couple of days, conditions permitting.

Active fires are causing delays with restoration works to get the power back on to just over 100 customers in the Baryulgil, Fine Flower, Coombadjha and surrounding areas.

Byron Bay LGA and Richmond LGA

88 customers in the Huonbrook, Mullumbimby and Wanganui areas and 13 customers in the vicinity of New Italy and Coraki lost their power yesterday, due to active fires. As the fires are still extremely dangerous, our crews have not been able to safely undertake repairs and are working closely with the Rural Fire Service.

Estimated restoration times will be available on the outage page of Essential Energy's website at www.essentialenergy.com.au once known. We apologise we are unable to provide further details at this time however our crews continue to be committed to restoring power as quickly as safety will allow.

As the public are returning to their properties, Essential Energy wants to remind everyone to stay at least eight metres away from fallen powerlines and report them on 13 20 80.

The Essential Energy website www.essentialenergy.com.au will have information about outages, however, due to
the uncertainty as to when we can access the sites, in many cases estimated times to restore will not be available.

ORIGINAL STORY: ALL fires in the Northern Rivers LGAs are at advice level this morning.

A community meeting will be held at Woodburn today to update residents on the fire situation.

The meeting will be held at Woodburn Bowling Club, 106 Richmond Street, Woodburn at 11am.

Representatives from NSW RFS, NSW Police, and the council will be in attendance.

NSW RFS Northern Rivers Zone said on Facebook yesterday fire fighters would continue to work through the night to protect properties in Williams Road, Moonem-New Italy Road, Reardons Lane and Bungawalbin-Whiporie Road.

They said a northerly wind is predicted for today, which "will blow smoke from the Border Trail fire towards Woodenbong and surrounds, including Grahams Creek Road, Lindsay Creek Road, Turners Flat Road and Dairy Flat".

"Residents in and around New Italy need to activate their bush fire survival plan and know what to do if the fire threatens.

"Asthmatics and others vulnerable to respiratory issues are urged to remain vigilant."

NSW RFS said at 6am, more than 800 firefighters are currently working on the 61 bush or grass fires burning across NSW, 25 are yet to be contained. Eight fires are at Watch and Act.

NSW RFS said there's Very High fire danger for many parts of the state today, and to know what you will do if fire threatens.



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