Emergency services rallied on the fireground at Ellangowan.
Emergency services rallied on the fireground at Ellangowan.

UPDATE: Fire conditions ease after 'huge response'

UPDATE, Monday 6.15am: CONDITIONS have eased at the Mothersoles Rd fire at Ellangowan, with the fire being downgraded to advice level last night.

"Firefighters will take advantage of more favourable conditions to consolidate containment lines around this fire," the RFS advised on its website.

"Firefighters remain in position to protect properties as required.

"People in the area of Reynolds Road, Lagoon Road and the Casino-Coraki Road, Coraki and surrounding areas should continue to monitor the situation closely and be prepared to enact your Bush Fire Survival Plan.

"Follow the advice of firefighters on the ground."


UPDATE, Sunday 5.45pm: THE bushfire at Ellangowan has now crossed Lagoon Rd, and is continuing to move in a north easterly direction.

However, RFS operations manager Daniel Ainsworth said 16 RFS units at Lagoon Rd were continuing to fight the main front of the fire on the southern side of the road.

"The fire has come out of the forest and run quickly along the grasslands along the north est side of Sandy Creek," Mr Ainsworth said.

"We have Fire and Rescue NSW and RFS resources on scene at Lagoon Rd."

"Conditions are starting to ease however it is still a wind driven grass fire."

Residents nearby have been advised to stay where they are, although some chose to leave after the emergency warning went out.

Residents on Reynolds Rd and Newlands Rd ato the north are also being door knocked in case parts of the front of the fire continues towards Coraki Rd. 


UPDATE, 4.30pm: AN OUT of control fire at Ellangowan has been updated to emergency status with properties now under threat.

Strengthening south west winds pushed the fire across containment lines and it is now threatening homes on Lagoon Rd on the north east of the fire front. 

According to RFS Northern Rivers operations manager Daniel Ainsworth, the fire was previously burning in swampy bushland, but since jumping Sandy Creek it has morphed into a grass fire, and is moving rapidly across pasture.

Residents are advised to stay in place, as it is too late to leave.

More than 60 RFS volunteers, five aircraft, and now Fire and Rescue NSW are battling the fire. 


UPDATE 10.30am: MORE than 60 firefighters are battling several blazes across the Northern Rivers ahead of strengthening southerly winds threatening further flare ups.

RFS volunteers are working on establishing control lines to prevent the region's largest fire, burning across 1714ha at Ellangowan (Mothersoles Rd) from expanding.

RFS Northern Rivers operations manager Daniel Ainsworth said there were 64 firefighters helping tackle the blaze, including 25 volunteers from Sydney.

"We've also got five aircraft supporting this operation, two fixed wing bombers, and two medium Huey helicopters, and also a light helicopter for reconnaissance and mapping."

The fire is still listed as being controlled by the RFS, but Mr Ainsworth said a nearby fire at Wrenchs Rd was now under control.

"We'll continue patrolling that today. We're hoping today that in the strong winds it will hold," he said.

Locals in the area are exhausted after a week of smoke and crews have been briefed to assist landowners wherever they can.

"Hopefully we'll have it contained in the next couple of days but there is still going to be a lot of smoke in that area," Mr Ainsworth said.


A fast moving grass fire that threatened the village of Tabulam yesterday is now under control, but several residents in that area are still without power.

The fire, allegedly deliberately lit, also badly damaged an RFS truck whose crew fortunately escaped unharmed but "shaken".

Tabulam warned after fire jumps the Clarence River
Tabulam warned after fire jumps the Clarence River

Mr Ainsworth said Essential Energy was working on restoring power where safe to do so but there is still a risk of the fire reigniting in the stronger winds today.

Local crews are assisting the Northern Tablelands RFS with managing the fire.


A new bushfire in rugged country at Unumgar east of Woodenbong started overnight and is currently out of control.

Mr Ainsworth said 12 crews were working on establishing containment lines for the 15ha fire which is burning on the on the eastern escarpment of the Richmond Range.

He said it was "very rugged" and "hard to chase".

If the winds pick up we'll just have to fall back to a safe spot.


There are two other fires within control lines, one in the Naughtons's Gap area in remote country, and the other at Blue Knob. They are expected to continue burning (within containment lines) until rain comes.

The forecast is very high fire danger today.

There is no rain forecast until at least Thursday or Friday.


ORIGINAL: AN EMERGENCY warning for Tabulam, near Tenterfield, has been downgraded after an out-of-control fire jumped Clarence River.

The RFS status is now official "watch and act".

Live Traffic NSW advised the Bruxner Highway between Tenterfield and Casino is closed in both directions due to the fire.

Diversions are as follows: Westbound diversion via Summerland Way to Gwydir Highway and Eastbound via New England Highway and Gwydir Highway.

NSW RFS website states: "A bush fire is burning in the Plains Station Rd, Tabulam area has now been contained.

"The fire has burnt 174 hectares.

"This fire has now been contained. Firefighters remain on scene to mop up and black out.

"There are reports of power poles down with the possibility of wires still being active.

"The Bruxner Highway remains closed at the Tabulam Bridge, due to possible damage on the bridge.

"There are unconfirmed reports of property damage. Building Impact Assessments teams have been deployed to assess the area."

Advice is to monitor conditions in your area, check and follow your Bush Fire Survival Plan and if you do not have a plan, decide what you will do if the situation changes.

Leaving early is your safest option.

At 3.30pm today there were 73 bush and grass fires burning across NSW, 44 of which were at the time uncontained.

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