RFS suspend burn permits; suspicious fires investigated

THE NSW Rural Fire Service has warned landowners to be cautious as bushfire season continues in full swing and investigations into some alleged deliberate fires begin.

Across the Northern Rivers, residents woke to smoke today, particularly in the Coraki to Evans Head area.

Winds were drifting smoke from a fire west of Whiporie and a Hazard Reduction burn that occurred in the Bungawalbyn area on Wednesday into that area, the RFS Northern Rivers Region Facebook page reported.

Nine Brigades and 30 firefighters from the NSW RFS were on scene of the Brewers Road Fire West of Whiporie this morning to contain the fire.

Back burning was set to be completed today to contain the fire before another hot day tomorrow.

NSW Rural Fire Service Inspector Ben Shepherd said that while there were a number of fires now burning in the region, none were impacting on any residential properties.

However, as there had been a "lot more" fire activity in the last few days, with the weekend set to be hot and dry as well, hazard reduction burn permits had been suspended until further notice.

"The last thing we need are any ... hazard reductions burns getting away from (landholders) and potentially damaging property, or worse," he said.

NSW Rural Fire Service Operations manager for Region North, Brian Daly said about 20 bushfire were burning between the Great Lakes and the Clarence Valley, of which many were hazard reduction burns that have run out of control.

"Some have gotten away from landowners but others have been lit under suspicious circumstances," Superintendent Daly said.

"Particularly the Station Creek Fire, north of Coffs Harbour, which is now burning across more than 3,550 hectares of public forest.

Inspector Shepherd said that the RFS investigated the majority of fires "unless the cause is completely obvious" and confirmed that there were a number of investigations ongoing in the north of the state.

Both Superintendent Daly and Inspector Shepherd stressed the importance of the public reporting any suspicious activity immediately to police.



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