Fifty fires burning as wild winds hamper RFS

High winds are hampering efforts by firefighters as NSW braces for the most dangerous day of the bushfire season to date.

The rural Rural Fire Service (RFS) said 50 bush or grassfires are burning across the state on Saturday morning with total fire bans in place for many regions because of high temperatures and winds.

 

Multiple fires are burning at Darawank, north of Forster-Tuncurry. Picture Shane Chalker/NEWSCORP
Multiple fires are burning at Darawank, north of Forster-Tuncurry. Picture Shane Chalker/NEWSCORP

 

Firefighters are battling an out of control bushfire in Darwank north of Forster.

NSW Rural Fire Service said the blaze is in the areas of Failford Rd and The Lakes Way just before 1pm.

The fire is moving in a North Easterly direction towards Blackhead Road, Hallidays Point and has crossed The Lakes Way.

Fire fighters fear strong winds may blow embers well ahead of the main fire front, which may create spot fires and threaten properties in built up areas.

 

The Darawank bushfire near Hallidays Point. Picture: Destination Furniture & Homewares/ Facebook
The Darawank bushfire near Hallidays Point. Picture: Destination Furniture & Homewares/ Facebook

 

A major fire covering more than 111,000 hectares continues to burn in the Bees Nest area in the Chaelundi State Forest, the Guy Fawkes National Park and Pargo Flat areas on the north NSW coast, with some residents told to enact their bushfire plans.

Another major fire is burning in all directions at Mount Kaputar National Park. Strong north-westerly winds will continue over the fire ground today, pushing the fire in a south and south-easterly direction, RFS said. Residents have been urged to monitor the situation.

A separate fire in Tyringham, north east of Armidale, is out of control and burning over 122 hectares following strong north westerly winds.

A watch-and-act has been issued Other major fires were burning at Narrabri, Carrai Creek and Backwater.

 

 

Firefighters are working to protect properties and slow the spread of the fires. Picture: Shane Chalker/NEWSCORP
Firefighters are working to protect properties and slow the spread of the fires. Picture: Shane Chalker/NEWSCORP

 

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast temperatures in the low 30s for Sydney and mid 30s for parts of the north coast and state's north.

Total fire bans cover the greater Sydney, Hunter, north coast, New England, northern slopes, north western and central ranges regions.

 

 

 

Winds of up to 100km/h are also predicted, creating conditions in which fires can travel quickly and could threaten homes, the RFS said.

Anthony Clark from the RFS said that the high winds were making it difficult for water bombers to contain the fires.

"Certainly water supply has been an issue for many of the firefighters on the ground," Mr Clark told the ABC.

"But in those strong winds as well, it does make it difficult for the aircraft to fly. The winds are probably going to be the big concern right throughout today."



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