Helicopters to assist with Coffs Harbour fire

THURSDAY 1.30PM: A helicopter is assisting ground crews with the fire burning near Coffs Harbour Regional Airport, and a second helicopter has been requested.

Area commander regional north at Fire & Rescue NSW, chief superintendent Peter Murgatroyd, said the helicopters had been requested to water bomb part of the fire which is burning in marsh not accessible to ground crews.

Mr Murgatroyd said two vehicles had also be stationed outside Coffs Harbour Education Campus to protect it from ember attacks.

11AM: SOUTHERN Cross University has been evacuated as a precaution as the fire flares in neighbouring bushland.


9.30AM: A SUSPCIOUS fire that has destroyed 43ha of land is still burning near Coffs Harbour Regional Airport.

75 fire-fighters and 16 trucks battled the fire overnight and efforts are continuing this morning.

Rural Fire Service Coffs Harbour superintendent Sean McArdle said back-burning had been undertaken to stop the fire spreading towards the airport.

He said swampy conditions around the fire had hindered efforts.

"The area that is still burning is in the central scrub and vegetation across that damp land," Mr McArdle said.

"We can't get vehicular access to it and we had a truck that get bogged trying to access the area last night."

Mr McArdle said 40ha of land was still at risk, but there were no threats to lives or homes.

"We're organising a helicopter for this morning and that will also give us intelligence into areas we can't get into," he said.

"There is still smoke emanating from the fire so motorists on Hogbin Dr need to be aware of that."

He said the cause of the fire was "undetermined, but suspicious."

The operation is a combined effort by the Rural Fire Service and NSW Fire and Rescue.


WEDNESDAY 7PM: A SPOKESWOMAN from Fire & Rescue NSW says crews are continuing efforts to extinguish a fire near Coffs Harbour Airport.

Firefighters have been working to control the blaze since arriving at the scene at around 3pm.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.


4.30PM: CREWS are continuing efforts to bring a fire near Aviation Dr under control.

Fire & Rescue NSW says 2ha of bushland is alight near Coffs Harbour Airport.


4.10PM: TRAFFIC is alternating on one lane after a minor car accident near the scene of the fire.

The incident occurred near Harry Jensen Bridge between the Stadium Dr and Airport Dr roundabouts.

Police are urging motorists on Hogbin Dr to remain alert due to the smoke hazard in the area.



3.30PM: A LARGE fire has broken out near the Coffs Harbour Regional Airport.

Emergency services raced to the scene near Aviation Dr where a large grass fire had started, bellowing a plume of smoke that can be seen from a distance.

Crews from Fire & Rescue NSW and the Rural Fire Service are on scene.

More details to come.

Topics:  coffs harbour coffs harbour regional airport fire grass fire rural fire service

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