Strong winds fanning bushfires
WITH the mercury rising and winds picking up, Rural Fire crews are this afternoon being kept busy on several fire fronts burning across the Coffs Coast.
The latest flare-up has seen NSW Rural Fire Service crews called to Hernani where property owners in the area have reported a large bushfire burning out of control.
The Deervale RFS unit was activated around 1.30pm and remains on scene.
Temperatures rising above 27 degrees coupled with 25kph north-easterly winds have added to the concern of the RFS.
This week the fire authority warned about the high amount of fuel following an extended dry period after a very wet start to the year.
Even though milder conditions are forecast for the weekend, the NSW Rural Fire Service and the NSW Farmer's Association have called for landowners burning off to be more careful.
NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said some of the fires this week caused thousands of dollars damage to property including sheds, equipment, vehicles and fences, but firefighters have prevented the loss of any homes.
"We encourage landowners to reduce hazards on their property, but they must use their common sense," Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.
"For example, no one should even attempt a hazard reduction in strong winds, yet some landholders did exactly that.
"It is the responsibility of landowners to take weather conditions into consideration before burning.
"The failure to do so could be tragic.
Fiona Simson, President of the NSW Farmers' Association, said that it was important that farmers were preparing for the fire season sensibly, safely and legally.
"We don't want to see any single farmer lose property or livestock because of a fire that could have been prevented.
"The first priority should always be safety, so never conduct a burn if conditions are not suitable.
"There are alternatives to burning including hand clearing, mowing, or slashing areas around key assets on the property."
Fires, which have been monitored around the region this week:
Jasper Creek. Private Property on the south western corner of the Nymboida State Forest and within the South western corner of Nymboida State Forest. Fought by the Clarence Valley unit a bush and grass fire where 517 hectares has been burnt out.
Middle Creek. 526 Middle Creek Rd Kangaroo Creek. Scrub/grass fire across 285 hecatares, which is now under control.
Featherstone Rd, Upper Corindi. Sherwood Nature Reserve and Dundoo Station Kungala
Bush and scrub fire across 908 hectares which is now under control.
The Fernbrook Fire Waterfall Way. 5492 Waterfall Way Fernbrook Bellingen. Out of control scrub fire across one hectare.
Taylors, Conglomerate State Forest. Bush and grass fire across 25ha now under control.
Wedding Bells State Forests - Hazard Reduction burn. Sherwood Forest Road, Wedding Bells SF, Bucca
Forests NSW Hazard Reduction across 10 hectares.
Orara Way, Nana Glen. 682 Orara Way, Nana Glen, 30km west of Coffs Harbour. Scrub fire across 151 hectares.
Bobo Rd, Cascade Rd Ulong. Scrub fire across three hectares now under control.
Dam Road. Nambucca State Forest Bush fire across 20 hectares
Hyland Park Road Hazard Reduction Burn on the eastern side of Hyland Park Road, north-east of Dam Road, Nambucca Heads. Forests NSW hazard reduction across 100 hectares
Old Mungay Mountain Trail
10 kilometres south of Taylors Arm in Ngambaa Nature Reserve Bushfire across 20 hectares contained by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.