The bushfire at South Ballina.
The bushfire at South Ballina. Mike Rushby

Firies finally manage to contain South Ballina blaze

UPDATE, 2.50pm: RURAL Fire Service crews have contained the 118ha bushfire in South Balllina.

RFS Far North Coast operations officer, Bob Wilcox said crews are monitoring the area and ensuring the entire affected area remains contained. 

"At this stage of the game, due to the cooler weather we'll just patrol it," Mr Wilcox said.

Mr Wilcox said the duration of the patrols will be determined later today.

The patrols may be short-lived if mild conditions continue over the next few days. 

 

UPDATE 12.30pm: EMERGENCY services battling the South Ballina bushfire has been described by one caravan park owner as "like watching a Mad Max movie."

Water bombers and a chopper flying overhead to dozens of firies fighting the blaze on the ground, Seabreeze Holiday Park owner Glen Wright was in the thick of the action yesterday afternoon.
If the aircraft weren't deployed and the gusty south-westerly winds didn't ease, Mr Wright said the park and its residents could of faced a very different situation.

He said there were no trucks near the park today but he said there is still smoke blowing through the park periodically.

Other than occasional hazy skies, Mr Wright said "everything was back to normal at the park with those who evacuated yesterday returning to their properties.

 

UPDATE 9.20am: COOL and rainy conditions are helping Rural Fire Service crews contain a 118ha bushfire that raged through South Ballina yesterday.

RFS Far North Coast operations officer, Bob Wilcox said the rain last night and this morning advanced the crew's efforts to control the blaze. 

The main goal for firies today according to Mr Wilcox is to "consolidate containment lines" around the fire to prevent further spread.

Weather conditions are expected to stay moderate with crews cautioned to winds from the south-east later today.
Mr Wilcox said crews aim to have the fire extinguished by the end of today. 

Joey Chapman took this high speed blur shot of the Water Bomber Monday afternoon in Ballina.
Joey Chapman took this high speed blur shot of the Water Bomber Monday afternoon in Ballina.

 

TUESDAY 6.15am: THE bushfire at South Ballina is now reported by the Rural Fire Service as being 118ha in size, and is still categorized as 'being controlled' by firefighting crews.

Jed Grace sent The Northern Star these photos  of the scene as waterbombers took to the skies to help with the firefighting effort yesterday afternoon.

Jed Grace took these photos of the fire at South Ballina on Monday.
Jed Grace took these photos of the fire at South Ballina on Monday. Jed Grace

 

MONDAY 4.45pm: FIRIES are battling to contain a bushfire at South Ballina that has blown out more than 10 times its initial size.

Rural Fire Service Far North Coast operations officer, Bob Wilcox said the blaze was reportedly 5ha in size this morning but has since engulfed an estimated 70ha.

Mr Wilcox said the wind has been problematic, fuelling the fire to rapidly spread.

He said residents, particularly at the Seabreeze Holiday Park, are at no risk from the fire.

"At this stage, there is no fire impacting the caravan park, it's just the smoke that's been pushed there by the prevailing wind," Mr Wilcox said.

Fire units are on the ground around the holiday park as a precaution.

Crews are expected to fight the blaze overnight as waterbomb aircraft and helicopters continue to assist crews on the ground until sundown.

Mr Wilcox encouraged surrounding residents to clean their gutters and remove any dried leaves, timbers and discarded household goods from around their homes.

"It's a good time to make sure people have their properties prepared for fires."

 

UPDATE 3.30pm: South Ballina mum Lauren Bailey said she was packed and ready to leave the area as soon as necessary.

"We've been watching the fire get a little bit closer every now and then … it's a little bit unnerving," she said.

"But they haven't told us to evacuate yet.

"A couple of days ago we had a big storm and there was a massive lightning strike and they think that's what started the fire.

"I'm already packed … it's one of those things, do you go or do you stay?

"We'll probably head into town anyway just to be safe."

 

UPDATE 3pm: Ten Rural Fire Service units have been sent to South Ballina to fight a bushfire that is edging closer to a local holiday park.

RFS Far North Coast operations officer, Bob Wilcox, said crews will be working into the night to contain the blaze.

The RFS crews are accompanied by three trucks deployed by Fire and Rescue Ballina, Brunswick Heads and Alstonville.

The smoke from the South Ballina fire can be seen throughout the Northern Rivers, residents say.

Reports on social media say plumes of smoke can be seen from Lismore, Casino and West Ballina.

RFS NSW posted on Facebook that aircrews will also be assisting crews on the ground.

Photo taken from West Ballina looking toward the South Ballina bushfire.
Photo taken from West Ballina looking toward the South Ballina bushfire. Philip Herold

UPDATE, 2.30pm: RESIDENTS from Seabreeze Holiday Park in South Ballina have evacuated their homes as winds push the inferno closer to the park.

Park owner, Glen Wright said about three residents have left their homes but the majority of residents are remaining on site.

He said the fire has crossed Mosquito Creek and is burning about 800m south of South Ballina Rd.

At  this stage, Mr Wright said the park is still safe and management have been in close contact with the Rural Fire Service.

"There's no point in panicking,"  Mr Wright said.

He hopes the winds will ease into the evening.

Three Fire and Rescue trucks from Alstonville, Ballina and Brunswick Heads have been requested to aid RFS crews to contain the blaze. 

 

UPDATE 2pm: A BUSHFIRE emergency warning has been released for a fire at South Ballina by the Early Warning Network. 

The NSW Rural Fire Service Northern Region also posted this message on their Facebook page:

"A fire at South Ballina has flared up this afternoon.

"The fire started yesterday and is now burning towards the Seabreeze Holiday Park.

"Additional firefighters and aircraft are being sent to the area."

Residents in the area should stay alert and aware and follow any instructions given to them by firefighters.

 

UPDATE 11.10am: FIVE fire trucks are battling a unrelenting bushfire at South Ballina.

Rural Fire Service Far North Coast operations officer, Bob Wilcox said crews have worked through the night to try and contain the blaze alight between Keith Hall Ln and Danns Ln.

Crews rushed to the fire yesterday afternoon.

Waves of smoke are blowing through South Ballina as the fire continues to burn.
Seabreeze Holiday Park owner Glen Wright said the area is very hazy with low visibility limited to 20m at times.

 

UPDATE 7.50am: FIRE crews from the Rural Fire Service are currently working on controlling a bushfire at South Ballina, the service is reporting. 

The fire is reportedly 5 hectares in size, near South Ballina Beach Road.

 

MONDAY 6.11am: FIREFIGHTERS have worked through the night to contain two fires in the West Coraki/Bora Ridge area.

The NSW RFS Northern Rivers Zone reported the incident on their Facebook page, thanking their crews for their aid.

"A massive thanks to crews from West Coraki, Myall Creek Road, Woodburn, Wyrallah, Casino, North Casino and our Support unit!" the post read.

The two bushfires are now reported as being under control, and are still under the watchful eye of local fire crews.



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