Volunteer army to the rescue as fires rage
By CRAIG McTEAR
WARWICK Roche has a small army at his disposal in a battle against a formidable enemy.
The Mid North Coast's Rural Fire Service manager is the incident controller attempting to gain the upper hand over a massive blaze northwest of Corindi in Yuraygir National Park.
The frontline troops comprise up to 60 RFS firefighters from the Coffs Harbour, Nambucca, Kempsey, Hastings and Tweed districts, 27 Forests NSW fire personnel from Coffs Harbour and Grafton, and 15 National Parks firefighters from Coffs Harbour and Grafton.
They are supported by 10 RFS tankers, 10 Forests NSW and five National Parks vehicles.
The fight has also taken to the air in the form of four helicopters flown in from as far afield as Sydney. Three of them are water bombers and one is used for observation.
The helicopter crews are regularly briefed by an air attack supervisor at Coffs Harbour Showground and refuelling and bombing operations are staged from the Corindi Showground.
The fire control headquarters in Coffs Harbour is buzzing with activity as strategists plan their next move.
The wildfire broke out on Wednesday morning on private property and spread into Barcoongere State Forest and Yuraygir National Park west of Red Rock, pushed north by strong southerly winds.
The blaze has so far claimed 2500 hectares - 500 hectares of private property, 1000 hectares of forest and 1000 hectares of parkland.