The Busbys Flat Road fire is now burning east of the Summerland Way near Rappville.
The Busbys Flat Road fire is now burning east of the Summerland Way near Rappville. Richmond Valley Information

RAPPVILLE HIT: Homes lost to fire, saving lives a priority

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  • Emergency warning for Busbys Flat Rd fire -- it is too late to leave
  • Fire impacting Rappville area
  • Summerland Way closed south of Ellangowan
  • Updates on Tenterfield fire HERE
  • Updates on Long Gully Rd fire HERE.

 

UPDATE 10.03pm: AN EMERGENCY warning remains in place for the Busbys Flat Rd, Busbys Flat.

The bush fire is burning at Busbys Flat, Wyan, Myrtle Creek and Rappville and has burned more than 13200 hectares and is out of control.

Current Situation

The fire is burning in the area of Rappville, Wyan, The Island, Myrtle Creek, Wineshanty, and Mount Belmore State Forest.

A wind change has moved across the fire ground. The fire is now moving quickly in a northly direction towards Coombell, Ellangowan, . It has also crossed the Summerland Way and is currently impacting Duke Road and Neileys Lagoon Road, West Bungawalbin.

This fire is dangerous and has continued spreading quickly.

There are reports of a number of homes or buildings being destroyed by the fire in the Rappville area.

Firefighters continue working under challenging conditions to protect properties in the area.

Under strong winds, embers are being blown ahead of the fire front, creating spot fires. These spot fires are threatening property earlier than the main fire front arrives.

Embers blown ahead of the Long Gully Road Fire have started spot fires very close to the south of this fire in the area of Busbys Road, Wyan.

If you are in the path of the fire you are at risk.

Advice

If you are in the areas of Coombell, Ellangowan, Rappville, Wyan, Wineshanty, The Island, Myrtle Creek, West Bungawalbin, or Mount Belmore State Forest you should take shelter as the fire approaches and protect yourself from the heat of the fire.

If you are to the east the Summerland Way in the area of Myall Creek Rd, Duke Road, Neileys Lagoon Road and Bungawalbin Creek, be alert for embers and spot fires which may threaten your property ahead of the main fire front. Take shelter as the fire approaches and protect yourself from the heat of the fire.

 

UPDATE 5.44pm: AT LEAST eight homes have been lost in the village of Rappville, with the fire heading east towards Myrtle Creek and Main Camp.

RFS Superintendent Michael Brett said many people living near Rappville had self-evacuated to Rappville School which was being protected by resources from the RFS, including a strike force team, Fire & Rescue NSW and State Forestry.

He said eight houses, the hall and other buildings in the village had been lost to fire.

Supt Brett said the fire was ongoing and they were not yet aware of the full extent of the fire damage outside of Rappville.

He said strong wind, downed powerlines and trees made it too dangerous to get more resources into the area.

He said the fire had now moved past Rappville and had already reached Elliotts Rd. He said the fire was heading east towards Myrtle Creek and Main Camp and urged anyone who did not need to be there, to evacuate if it was safe to do so.

An evacuation centre is being set up at Casino, believed to be at Casino High School.

The railway line and Summerland Way are closed.

Supt said resources were stretched and they were waiting for winds to die down so it was safe enough for firefighters to attack the fire.

As it stands, firefighters are going house to house, warning people of the danger and protecting property where they can.

 

UPDATE, 5.30pm: A NUMBER of homes and buildings have been destroyed by a bushfire in the Rappville area.

Fire crews have been facing nightmare conditions this afternoon in an attempt to get the blaze under control.

More to come.

 

UPDATE, 4.45pm: FIREFIGHTERS are at the Rappville school, where are number of residents are sheltering from the approaching bushfire.

The Rural Fire Service says roads may be cut off and unsafe to use.

"The fire's spreading quickly between Summerland Way and Bungawalbin," the NSW RFS said.

"This fire is large and dangerous.

"If in this area and the fire impacts, seek shelter to protect yourself from the heat of the fire." 

An aerial image showing the Busbys Flat Rd bushfire.
An aerial image showing the Busbys Flat Rd bushfire.

 

UPDATE, 4.20pm: THE fire is burning in the area of Rappville, Wyan, The Island, Myrtle Creek, Wineshanty, and Mount Belmore State Forest.

The fire is moving quickly in an easterly direction and has crossed the Summerland Way.

This fire is very dangerous and is spreading quickly.

Under strong winds, embers are being blown ahead of the fire front, creating spot fires. These spot fires are threatening property earlier than the main fire front arrives.

The Busbys Flat Rd fire is approaching Rappville.
The Busbys Flat Rd fire is approaching Rappville. NSW RFS

If you are in the path of the fire you are at risk.

If you are in the area of Rappville, Wyan, The Island, Myrtle Creek, Wineshanty, or Mount Belmore State Forest it is now too late to leave. Take shelter as the fire approaches and protect yourself from the heat of the fire.

If you are to the east of Myrtle Creek. Monitor conditions and be alert for spot fires which may threaten your property ahead of the main fire front.

 

UPDATE 3.23pm: SUMMERLAND Way near Rappville has been closed due to the bushfire burning nearby. 

The road is closed between Mongogarie Rd and Bungawalbin- Whiporie Road.

Motorists are advised to use an alternative route - diversions are in place via the Pacific and Bruxner Highways.

 

UPDATE 2.46pm: SUMMERLAND Way near Rappville is being impacted by smoke and motorists are advised to exercise caution.

Smoke in the area may affect visibilty.

Motorists are advised to reduce speed.

An emergency warning is in place and the area should be avoided if possible.

 

UPDATE 2.20pm: FIRE continues to burn in an easterly direction in the vicinity of Wineshanty towards Myrtle Creek and Rappville.

Residents in Myrtle Creek and Rappville should seek shelter as the fire approaches and continue to monitor for embers and spot fires ahead of the main fire. 

 

UPDATE 1.30pm: THE fire at Busbys Flat has now crossed Old Tenterfield Road, moving in an easterly direction towards Old Wyan Road.

Residents should seek shelter as the fire approaches. Protect yourself from the heat of the fire.

Roads may be closed at short notice. 

 

UPDATE, 12.20pm: TWO 737s are on their way from Coffs Harbour to help firefighting crews as the Busbys Flat Fire is expected to impact on properties along Old Tenterfield Rd by 1pm today.

RFS Superintendent Michael Brett said the fire was gaining traction and they have called in for reinforcements.

"The fire has doubled in size over the past few hours to 1150ha," he said.

"The RFS has put out an Emergency Warning for all residents on Old Tenterfield Rd, as we expect the fire to impact within an hour."

Mr Brett said residents in the area of Old Tenterfield Rd near Wyan and Wineshanty it is now too late to leave.

He advised them to take shelter when the fire arrives and protect yourself from the heat of the fire.

"We are aiming to keep the fire to the western side of Old Tenterfield Rd," he said.

"As this fire is continuing to ramp up, we will soon have six aircraft at the fire including two Large Air Tankers which are on route to lay some lines of fire retardant to give us a buffer between the properties."

Mr Brett said there is a lot of smoke coming into the area from Queensland and further afield from the west, which is concerning people.

"The smoke you can see is mainly from Queensland and we are getting a lot of calls about this," he said.

"We are asking people that unless you see flames this is probably where the smoke is coming from."

 

UPDATE 12.03pm: AMAZING aerial footage shows the spread of the fire burning at Busbys Flat.

The Rural Fire Service posted the footage, saying firefighters are working to slow the spread of the fire burning in the vicinity of Seery Rd and Phillip Swamp Rd in the Mount Belmore State Forest.

Ground crews are supported by aircraft to protect isolated and rural homes in the area.

 

UPDATE, 11.30am: A BUSHFIRE burning at Busbys Flat Rd has been upgraded to an emergency warning.

The RFS has advised there has been an increase in fire activity and, under strong westerly winds, the fire is moving in an easterly direction towards Old Tenterfield Rd.

"Residents in the area of Old Tenterfield Rd near Wyan and Wineshanty it is now too late to leave," the RFS posted on its website.

"Take shelter when the fire arrives and protect yourself from the heat of the fire.

"Monitor conditions in your area. Under strong winds, embers may be blown ahead of the fire front, creating spot fires.

"These spot fires may threaten your home earlier than the predicted main fire front."

A bushfire at Busbys Flat has been upgraded to emergency warning level.
A bushfire at Busbys Flat has been upgraded to emergency warning level.

 

Original story: NSW RURAL Fire Service have upgraded the Busby's Flat Rd Fire to Watch & Act.

RFS Superintendent Michael Brett said the fire is burning out of control and firefighters are now in property-protection mode.

A bushfire at Busbys Flat has broken containment lines and is now at a Watch & Act advice level.
A bushfire at Busbys Flat has broken containment lines and is now at a Watch & Act advice level. NSW RFS

"We have 4m plus flames  as the fire has taken a significant run this morning in a south-easterly direction along Old Tenterfield Rd," he said.

"Currently we are moving resources into the area which are being supported by two fixed wing aircraft and a water-bucket helicopter."

Supt Brett said the fire is very difficult to fight as it is roaring through rough and rugged terrain.

"It's burning in country we can't access easily," he said.

Advice

Residents in the area of Old Tenterfield Rd near Wyan, Wineshanty and Kippenduff should monitor the situation and follow their bush fire survival plan.

If you do not have a plan, decide what you will do if the situation changes. Leaving early is your safest option.

Monitor conditions in your area. Under storng winds, embers may be blown ahead of the fire front, creating spot fires. These spot fires may threaten your home earlier than the predicted main fire front.

A bushfire at Busbys Flat is now at a Watch & Act alert level.
A bushfire at Busbys Flat is now at a Watch & Act alert level. NSW RFS

Firefighters across the entire Northern Rivers are preparing for the worst on today's day of total fire ban.

Rural Fire Service Far North Coast Superintendent David Cooke said brigades are ready to respond as needed.

"We are looking at very rapid increase in the fire danger index, so all brigades are on alert and ready to respond," he said.

"In fact this morning we got the call to provide assistance to a bushfire at Busby's Flat which has already burned 611ha of bush.

"We had a strike team of four fire trucks with crews from the Northern Rivers and Far North Coast and were on their way within an hour."

Meanwhile, an incident at Rocky Creek Dam Rd, Dunoon, is still being investigated, he said.

Supt Cook said the incident which is on the RFS Fires Near Me website was called in by a couple of people who reported smoke.

"It was called into us at 9.48am today that there was smoke in the vicinity," he said.

"It is being investigated."

Supt Cook said the RFS really appreciated the time and effort their members made at these times.

"Thanks also to the employers fort allowing their staff who are our wonderful volunteer firefighters the time to attend these incidents and help protect our communities," he said/

"We really appreciate this."

Supt Cook reminded everyone that in a Total Fire Ban no fire may be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.

This includes incinerators and barbecues which burn solid fuel, e.g. wood, charcoal or heat beads.

No general purpose welding, grinding, soldering or gas cutting can be done in the open.

Other Information

If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Continue to stay up to date with the bush fire situation by checking http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, listening to your local radio station or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.

For information on road closures, check http://livetraffic.rta.nsw.gov.au. Roads may be closed without warning.



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