WATCH AND ACT: Fire situation intensifies in Kyogle area
Update, Thursday, 4.40pm: A FIRE situation in the Kyogle area has intensified this afternoon.
The NSW Rural Fire Service has now listed the Peacock Creek bushfire as "out of control" and given it a "Watch and Act" advice level.
The fire has already burnt 215ha.
Peacock Creek is near Bonalbo, west of Kyogle.
Watch and Act alert level means: "There is a heightened level of threat. Conditions are changing and you need to start taking action now to protect you and your family."
ABC North Coast has reported that the fire is burning out of control to the east of Bonalbo.
Brian Daley, from the Rural Fire Service, told the ABC that several crews were in position between the fire front and the homes in its path.
"The fire's been going for about a week now," Supt Daley said.
"We had it wrapped up and then a whirlwind came through, picked up some embers and then dropped them into unburnt country.
"A couple of properties have the fire burning towards them but we've got trucks at those properties."
Update, Thursday, 12.40pm: EARLY this morning crews from Goonellabah Fire Station responded to two separate incidents involving areas of gardens and grass deliberately lit around Goonellabah.
The firefighters had a strong message to those responsible, posting this on Facebook:
"Whoever you are, there are no words other than careless, stupid and illegal to describe your actions.
"We can assure you, in these conditions, if you're caught, you're charged... there is NO EXCUSE."
"Our area is under a total fire ban today."
The Goonellabah Fire Station ended the Facebook post with the hashtags, #WakeUpToYourself #YouCouldKillPeople
Update, Thursday, 10am: RURAL Fire Service is reminding residents of the total fire ban in place for Ballina, Byron, Kyogle, Lismore, and Richmond Valley today as temperatures soar.
RFS Northern Rivers Superintendent Michael Brett said several fires that had been burning in the region throughout the week were currently contained or being controlled.
"Today's high temperatures and strong winds means crews will be patrolling around the region," Superintendent Brett said.
Temperatures could reach 40 degrees in Casino today, with strong north-westerly winds expected.
Wednesday: A TOTAL Fire Ban has been declared for the Far North Coast region tomorrow, Thursday 28 September, due to forecast hot and windy conditions.
The Total Fire Ban, commencing at midnight tonight, covers the following councils:
Far North Coast (Severe) - Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley, Tweed
The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) provides the following advice:
Under Severe fire conditions:
Well prepared homes that are actively defended can provide safety during a fire.
Follow your Bush Fire Survival Plan and remain vigilant.
Keep informed by checking The Northern Star website, listening to local radio, watching television news broadcasts and monitoring www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.
Please note: The NSW RFS may issue a Harvest Safety Alert for areas of heightened risk. Harvest operators should monitor conditions and regularly check that they are operating within guidelines.
No fires may be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended during a Total Fire Ban. Gas and electric barbeques may be used provided certain conditions are met. Total Fire Ban rules and a map of current Total Fire Ban areas are listed at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.