Property losses adding up as crews continue to battle blaze
THE number of properties destroyed by the fierce infernos affecting northern NSW has now soared to 259.
NSW Rural Fire Service Building Impact Assessment teams are continuing their investigations of impacted properties, and the figures are expected to change as more areas are assessed.
Crews have now surveyed more than 3,100 buildings in the region and have confirmed at this stage that 87 homes have also been damaged.
A total of 18 facilities have been destroyed, and 28 damaged.
Around 480 outbuildings have been destroyed, and 155 damaged.
However crews managed to save more than 2,140 buildings.
As of Friday morning, the 148,000 ha Liberation Trail fire and the 230,000 ha Kian Road fire in the Coffs Coast region are currently under 'Watch and Act' status.
The NSW RFS Mid North Coast team, along with Fire and Rescue NSW, National Parks and Wildlife Service and Forestry Corporation NSW, are in the Nana Glen and Glenreagh areas backburning and putting out fire.
They are being assisted by aircraft that are water bombing hotspots and dealing with any fire runs that occur.
The Liberation Trail fire will require a sustained, long term effort to contain and eventually extinguish.
Backburning operations are expected to occur over the next few days and evenings depending on conditions.
This is creating a lot of smoke in the area, with the North Coast Public Health District today urging residents to take health precautions.
Fine smoke particles can aggravate existing chronic health conditions, and can cause itchy or burning eyes, throat and nose irritation, and breathing problems.
Residents, particularly those who are sensitive to smoke, are urged to stay indoors until the air clears and to aovid strenuous exercise or heavy outdoor work where possible.