Mayor devastated by worst fire Richmond Valley has ever seen
THE mayor is devastated and said it was hard to fathom the effects of the worst fire Richmond Valley has ever seen.
The worst fire ever, he emphasised.
Up to 30 homes are estimated to be lost in Rappville, south of Casino as 80km/h easterly winds, daytime temperatures of up to 40C and low humidity stoked the previously contained Busbys Flat fire.
Richmond Valley mayor Robert Mustow said today's priority for the council was to start the recovery process and keep people safe.
Last night, the council filled three water tankers and sent them out to Rappville.
The village is currently a dangerous place.
"Electrical poles are down, the sub station is gone, trees are still burning," Cr Mustow said.
The tanker drivers rang last night and told the mayor they got into Rappville but were unable to get out.
"They are stuck out there," Cr Mustow said.
A bus was sent out last night to evacuate people. When it returned to the evacuation centre at St Mary's School in Casino at 11pm, the mayor was there to greet them.
"I helped a man called John off the bus," Cr Mustow said.
"He said, 'all I've got is what I'm wearing, even my walking stick was burned'."
Cr Mustow said he has received many calls from other councils offering moral support.
"A month ago I called Tenterfield mayor Peter Petty, and he just rang me," Cr Mustow said.
The Council have allowed larger domestic animals to stay at the Casino Showground.
"We are resilient, we support each other," the mayor said.
"We will recover from this."