Nimbin blaze sparks fire alert

THE NSW Rural Fire Service has renewed its call for North Coast residents to remain on high fire alert following a blaze near Nimbin on Tuesday night and the re-ignition of an old fire near Woodenbong.

Northern Rivers community safety officer Supt Boyd Townsend said the Nimbin outbreak at Billen Cliffs started from a private clearing operation which had a fire permit. The blaze generated a spate of calls due to the volume of smoke.

“There was no problem at that stage, but after the wind got up we had a call about 8pm that it had got away,” Mr Townsend said.

“The local brigade sent a crew and they had it contained by 2am.There is no threat to property at this stage and the crew was back yesterday mopping up.”

Meanwhile, a fire at Legume, west of Woodenbong, that was declared out last week has flared up because of high temperatures and winds.

Peter St Clair, from Forests NSW, said firefighters were concerned it would spread into the nearby Tooloom eucalypt plantation.

“We put in some back-burns on Tuesday to protect the plantation, but it is burning uncontained to the south due to the rugged terrain and lack of access. We’re hoping for rain later in the week,” Mr St Clair said.

Mr Townsend warned residents in rural areas to put their fire plans in place now. Although recent rains provided some relief, ground moisture levels were still critically low, he said.

“The effect of that rain is already wearing off and higher than average temperatures and low rainfall have been forecast for the next three months,” he said. “Just one week of dry and adverse conditions could easily generate extreme fire conditions.”



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