End in sight for Northern Rivers bushfire thanks to rain

SUNDAY 3pm: THE bushfire burning 10km south of Woodburn is almost entirely out thanks to backburning efforts and rainfall over the fireground.

The fire started on private land off Gap Rd on Friday and became difficult for firefighters to access because of its position on a hill.

Volunteers patrolled and backburned on Saturday and Sunday to ensure it wouldn't spread beyond its 15 hectare perimeter.

Rural Fire Service Northern Rivers Inspector Helen Carlos said the fire hasn't spread beyond the blackened lined firefighters created during the backburn.

"The fire is definitely behind the black line," she said. "And the rain has definitely helped." 

She said there will likely be no more patrols this afternoon or overnight but nearby residents may spot traces of smoke over the next couple of days.

The bushfire was the result of a resident's out of control burn off. 

Insp Carlos said it was a valuable lesson for people lighting fires to make sure they have a clear area around it. 

"Thank you to the firefighters who gave up their long weekend to fight this fire," she said.

 

UPDATE 1.30pm: FIREFIGHTERS have started backburning to prevent the bushfire south of Woodburn from spreading if the wind picks up.

Rural Fire Service Northern Rivers Inspector Helen Carlos said the plan was to backburn into the bushfire, blackening the land to stop it from spreading further.

"The problem is the main fire is coming down off a hill and the crews can't actually access it, so the crews have to wait for it to get down to a certain point," she said.

"Once it comes down the hill the wind goes off the fire and it stops.

"We have to backburn into it ... (because) a windy day could make it take off again."  

She said crews were hopeful that forecast rain tomorrow would ease the fire.

Insp Carlos reminded all to be safe with fires over the remainder of the long weekend.

"Just be thoughtful," she said. "Take more care with fires.

"It's our crews that have to battle them ... The guys on the fire trucks, they may have had plans this long weekend."

 

SUNDAY 9am: FOR the third day in a row Rural Fire Service crews are on their way to the remote bushfire burning south of Woodburn.

Crews patrolled the blaze overnight and will likely continue over the duration of today.

It is situated about 10km south of Woodburn on private land. 

 

SATURDAY 12pm: RURAL Fire Service crews are continuing to monitor a remote bushfire south of Woodburn today.

The fire sprang up yesterday as a result of an out of control private hazard reduction burn and is estimated to now cover 11ha of heavily timbered country.

It is situated on private land south of Gap Rd and east of the Pacific Highway, about 10km south of Woodburn.

About 10 firefighters at the scene now are drawn from Clunes, North Casino and Woodburn RFS units.

RFS Northern Rivers Inspector Helen Carlos said there were two Striker units - four wheel drives fitted with 500 litre water tanks - patrolling the remote area and surveying the fire from vantage points.

There is also a pumper with 1100 litres of water available.

"As expected the fire died down over night, crews are continuing to patrol to ensure the fire stays within its contained area at the moment," Insp Carlos said.

"We're going to have to crews patrolling all day."

All private and planned RFS controlled burns have been suspended due to the very high fire danger.

Further south, a 700ha fire burning in Yuraygir National Park on the Clarence Coast north of Red Rock, has caused the evacuation of a campground at Station Creek.

National Parks and Wildlife Services are dealing with the fire, which is still classified as out of control.

 

ORIGINAL: A VERY high fire danger has been issued for the Northern Rivers today, with hazard reduction burn permits automatically suspended.

It follows a hectic day for firefighters yesterday in which two sizeable blazes broke out within hours of each other.

About 11am, several RFS units were called to the Tyagarah Nature Reserve on Grays Lane, where a fire broke out in heathland around the tea tree lake.

Police were also called to help evacuate the busy Tyagarah beach car park after some beachgoers initially refused to leave.

The local RFS crews eventually brought it under control with a back burning operation.

The second blaze remained out of control yesterday evening in remote and heavily timbered country off Gap Rd, south of Woodburn.

Four RFS units from Woodburn and Wardell attended the fire but were unable to contain the blaze due to the remote terrain.

RFS Northern Rivers Inspector Daniel Ainsworth said yesterday fire crews would remain on the scene until after dark.

"We're hoping that once the suns goes down and the winds drops this fire will move toward wetter country and burn itself over night," he said.

"With tomorrow's hot conditions we'll need to be vigilant and get out there early to monitor it. We've also got a helicopter on standby at Grafton if we need it."

Insp Ainsworth said some property owners had been "caught by surprise" in the sudden heat following an unseasonal run of wetter conditions.

The Woodburn area fire was believed to have been sparked by an out of control private hazard reduction burn.

He urged residents near bushfire prone areas to be prepared.



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