STILL BURNING: Rural Fire Services and Fire and Rescue NSW are working together to control a fire burning on Waterfall Way, Thora, which has closed the road.
STILL BURNING: Rural Fire Services and Fire and Rescue NSW are working together to control a fire burning on Waterfall Way, Thora, which has closed the road. Daniel Perrin /TWE

Waterfall Way between Bellingen and Dorrigo reopens

UPDATE: WATERFALL Way was reopened earlier this afternoon after it was closed due to a bushfire and fallen trees around Thora.

The road was reopened about 3.45pm.

The fire is still burning and is reported to be about 90ha in size.

NSW Rural Fire Service crews remain at the scene and are continuing work to control it.

 

EARLIER: WATERFALL Way between Dorrigo and Bellingen remains closed as a bushfire burns at Thora.

The road is expected to be closed until at least midday.

It is advised motorists either delay their journey or use an alternative route.

Motorists can travel via Grafton using the Pacific Hwy and Armidale St as an alternative. This will add at least four hours to the journey.

Large water bombing aircraft were tasked from Sydney to assist with the containment of the fire.

EARLIER: LARGE water bombing aircraft were tasked to help fire crews on the ground combat a large bushfire at Thora.

RFS Mid North Coast Superintendent Sean McArdle said the fire had spread overnight and was now about 60ha in size.

Supt McArdle said a DC 10 air tanker, Southern Belle, and a Hercules C130, Thor, flew over about 3pm today and dropped retardant.

This coincided with continual flights by helicopters bucketing in water.

Supt McArdle said Waterfall Way would remain closed tonight as there were still dangerously damaged trees in the area.

He said if the fire got any closer to the road, back burning operation would be put in place to meet it.

A light rain shower did little to help the fire fighting efforts.

"They had a light drizzle but not enough to dampen the flames," Supt McArdle said.

ORIGINAL: MOTORISTS are urged to avoid travelling along Waterfall Way, Thora, as fire services work on controlling a suspicious bushfire.

RFS Mid North Coast Superintendent Sean McArdle said the fire on the steep terrain had closed the road.

He said both RFS and Fire and Rescue NSW were working to control the fire and it was a priority to reopen the road but trees needed to assessed for fire damage first.

Supt McArdle said air services had also been called in to control the fire.

"I wouldn't travel Waterfall Way for the next couple of hours," he said.

Supt McArdle said the fire was considered suspicious as there were no natural causes apparent at the time of ignition.

He said there was another suspicious fire burning on Martells Rd, Urunga.

Supt McArdle said it initially started on November 25 but reignited on Sunday.

He urged people to be responsible and avoid lighting fires as it is "tinder dry at the moment".

Supt McArdle also said people needed to have a bushfire plan and be ready to act on it if needed.



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