STARK COMPARISON: Three massive blazes have joined west of Coffs Harbour and compared to Sydney would stretch from Bondi to Lithgow. Photo by Paul McDonald.
STARK COMPARISON: Three massive blazes have joined west of Coffs Harbour and compared to Sydney would stretch from Bondi to Lithgow. Photo by Paul McDonald.

Mega fire unprecedented for Coffs region

OVERLAYED on a map of Sydney, the massive fire cluster to the west of Coffs Harbour would stretch from Bondi to Lithgow.

The fires are currently marked on the NSW RFS Fires Near Me website as Kangawalla (21,143 hectares), Kaloe Mountain Trail (86,984 hectares) and the Liberation Trail fire (176, 168 hectares).

Prior to this the fires were known as the Red Range, Jackadgery, Bees Nest, Dalmorton and Dundurrabin but as they grow and join up new names are created.

With a community on edge preparing for the potentially 'catastrophic' worst case scenario that thankfully did not play out last week, authorities are warning against complacency.

The latest wording on the Sawtell Fire and Rescue NSW sign said it loud and clear: 'It's not over, be prepared, stay safe'.

 

Sign of the times at Sawtell.
Sign of the times at Sawtell.

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The locals left devastated by the fires

NSW Rural Fire Service spokesperson Greg Allan says that while the worst case scenario did not eventuate, it's a very long hot summer ahead and people need to plan for the entire season.

"The potential was there but as we saw on the day the catastrophic conditions didn't last that long but it's not just about one day, it's about being prepared ahead of time," Mr Allan said.

"You need to have discussions now and discuss three simple things - when to go if you plan to leave, what to take and where you will go."

The resulting smoke has also triggered health warnings and calls for local councils to issue face masks.

Smoke has also blanketed Sydney in recent days with landmarks barely visible and parents urged to keep their children indoors.

Sharnie Moren and her 18-month-old daughter Charlotte look on as thick smoke rises from bushfires near Nana Glen on November 12. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)
Sharnie Moren and her 18-month-old daughter Charlotte look on as thick smoke rises from bushfires near Nana Glen on November 12. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Mr Allan points out that bushfires across the State have already burnt through three times the land that was destroyed in the last bushfire season and it's still very early days with a long hot summer ahead.

The number of NSW homes lost to bushfires this season has passed 600 as crews continue to battle 50 blazes across the state.



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