City blanketed by smoke
SMOKE billowed through the streets of Grafton and South Grafton like a blaze out of control, yet it was the effects of backburning after the Yuraygir National Park fire.
After several days of concentrated effort, the large fire is now under control, and firefighters are working on the next phase of their operation.
Incident controller Warwick Roche, from the Rural Fire Service, said that by late Saturday afternoon fire crews had completed all backburning operations, and that they had now gained the upper hand over the fero- cious blaze, north of Corindi.
Yesterday morning, a specialist helicopter undertook an incendiary drop through the centre of the fire between the firefront and backburning areas to burn out available fuel and stop any chance of the blaze breaching containment lines.
"We'll be patrolling, monitoring and mopping up for the next couple of days," Mr Roche said.
"Unless we get really bad weather, which is not predicted, we should soon be able to wind down our activities."
The wildfire, which started on private property west of Red Rock last Wednesday, has burnt out more than 3000 hectares of land after being pushed north by strong southerly winds.