FIRES RAGE: Drought to devastation with no rain in sight
SNOW falling as fires rage - we live in a land of harsh extremes.
That was the case at the Bees Nest fireground yesterday afternoon with icy winds and a small sprinkling of snow west of Dorrigo as firefighters battled the blaze which now covers over 66,500 hectares and is currently listed as out of control.
It has a perimeter of more than 300 kilometres with smoke forcing people to evacuate their homes.
Strong winds have been fanning the flames while at the same time grounding firefighting aircraft.
With the ground tinder-dry and no rain on the way hundreds of firefighters are battling the blaze which originated in the Guy Fawkes River National Park.
The Rural Fire Service (RFS) estimates it could take up to a month to bring under control.
There is also a large spot fire burning in the Muldiva State Forest, burning towards Tyringham Road, in the Bostobrick area.
Firefighters continued to work with landholders to protect isolated properties in the area, with many calls for assistance with property protection overnight on Monday.
As people have been forced to flee their properties the community has sprung into action. Kymbalee Tarran opened up the Dorrigo Showground for those seeking immediate shelter on Saturday night and now government authorities and charity groups including the Salvation Army are in place to help co-ordinate efforts.
On the coast communities are also donating much-needed items through various Buy Swap Sell Facebook pages.
Kymbalee says many residents who evacuated over the weekend fled with only light clothing and now with the cold winds whipping up, many are in need of more warm clothing.
Stock and station owner Eliezer Robinson has also stepped up, calling on property owners to provide shelter for cattle.
"That fire is in some rugged country and people were already doing it tough - it's just dirt and wind in some places and you have to shield your eyes to see what you're doing."
Patricia Gray fled from her Dundarribin home on Saturday morning and was enjoying a warm meal at the Dorrigo Showground on Monday. She is also concerned about the bleak outlook ahead.
"This fire isn't going out until we get rain. It's bone dry out there."
More details to come