Rain not much help
By CRAIG McTEAR
IN a cruel twist of fate, rain temporarily made matters worse for crews battling a massive blaze in Yuraygir National Park.
Planned backburning operations were delayed overnight on Thursday due to the showers hampering access to the fire. They could not resume until yesterday afternoon.
About three millimetres of rain fell on the fire which continues to burn about 5km north-west of Corindi. It has so far claimed 2750 hectares of national park, State forest and private property.
Isolated showers are predicted to fall in the fire area this weekend.
Only two helicopters, down from the original five, are now required for the firefighting effort because the blaze appears to have died down.
Six heavy earthmoving machines continue to work on the northern and western flanks of the inferno and firefighting crews from the Lower North Coast are blacking out the fire's edge on the south-western side.
Crews from Forests NSW and the National Parks and Wildlife Service have been mopping up in the eastern division and preparing fallback lines in the northern section.
The Corindi SES and the Salvation Army have been a welcome support to the hardworking personnel, who had a surprise visit yesterday from RFS Commissioner Phil Koperberg.
The southerly winds which have pushed the fire north through the national park are expected to continue during the next couple of days.
RFS community liaison officers have been in Wooli and Halfway Creek to ensure all property owners are aware of the fire's progress. They will also ensure property owners are well prepared for the possible onset of fire.
"Sightseers are asked to avoid Barcoongere Way and Station Creek Road which will remain closed to the public," an RFS spokeswoman said.
"The Station Creek rest area is expected to remain closed for the next four days."
Firefighters will undertake patrols this weekend and further backburns will be conducted when necessary.