UPDATE: RFS effort saves properties, fire battle continues
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Two fires are burning at emergency status, the Bees Nest and Long Gully Rd fire near Drake. The Shark Creek fire is now at advice status.
- A southerly change has hit and could push fire towards Yamba, however conditions have eased in favour of fire crews.
- Residents in Yamba, Angourie, Wooloweyah and Gulmarrard need to monitor conditions and know what to do should fire threaten.
- An evacuation centre is open at Yamba Bowling Club, 44 Wooli St.
- The Bees Nest fire is burning north of Ebor on several fronts. Residents in the areas of Tyringham, Marengo, Moonpar, Billys Creek, Dundarrabin or Bostobrick should put their bushfire survival plan into action. Know what you will do if the fire threatens.
- For the latest updates from the NSW RFS visit the website or the Fires Near Me app. In an emergency call 000.
UPDATE 6PM: The Clarence Valley Rural Fire Service has confirmed there are so far no reports of property damage from the Shark Creek Fire which threatened the Wooloweyah and Angourie communities.
This afternoon the fire was downgraded from 'Watch and Act' to 'Advice'. But Clarence Valley RFS incident controller Viki Campbell said there was still a considerable risk, especially with strong southerly winds expected to continue tonight.
"There were some embers attacking Angourie last night and today at Wooloweyah and fireys have done an amazing job to protect properties in those areas."
"We had a spot fire north of Wooloweyah and Angourie yesterday and crews have done an extensive job containing the fire before it reaches Yamba.
"However we are still monitoring that containment particularly with the strong southerly winds in that area.
"Crews will remain on scene at the northern containment line and in the townships of Wooloweyah and Angourie to continue to monitor any spotting activity over containments."
NSW RFS has contained the blaze using firefighters, heavy plant and aircraft including the 737 large air tanker.
UPDATE 4PM: Conditions this afternoon have been favourable for firefighters both on the ground and in the air, with the spread of the fire burning in bushland in the Yuraygir National Park and Shark Creek area slowed.
The fire is burning to the north and south of the villages of Angourie and Wooloweyah. Firefighters and aircraft have slowed the spread of the fire.
Conditions are easing and the immediate threat to properties has eased.
Firefighters are continuing to work in the area
Fire is also burning to the south of Gulmarrad, however fire activity has eased.
If you are in the areas of Wooloweyah or Angourie, continue to monitor the situation in case conditions change.
If you are in the area of Gulmarrad, monitor conditions. Firefighters are working in the area.
A total of 64 people have registered at the NSW Disaster Recover evacuation centre established at Yamba Bowling Club since Monday, with 37 people put up in emergency accommodation.
The centre will remain open until tonight, but will stay in place if required. If you have been impacted by this fire, you can contact the Disaster Welfare Services hotline on 1800 018 444.
UPDATE 2PM: GULMARRAD Rural Fire Brigade Captain Andrew Paull has told residents not to "let your guard down".
"This advice goes for anyone living near or in any part of the fire in it's entirety. Sometimes you can relax a bit but please don't let your guard down until you have official notification that the threat is over," he said.
Residents in the areas of Angourie, Wooloweyah, Yamba and Gulmarrad need to monitor the situation and enact their bushfire survival plan.
A Yamba resident said she was woken at 3.30am last night to the lights of fire trucks.
"I flew out of bed but they were just going around checking all the forested areas. God bless them all. Looking after us while we slept," she said.
"They all deserve medals."
UPDATE 1PM: RETARDANT is still being dropped close to homes in Angourie in a bid to prevent the flames getting closer.
Firefighters continue to battle against strong gusts and the RFS warn the fire may get close to homes today as it did last night.
So far there has been reports of one shed destroyed but no further property lost.
WATCH AND ACT - Shark Creek fire (Clarence Valley) Firefighters and waterbombing aircraft are battling strong winds. Retardant has been dropped close to homes, and crews are working to slow the spread of the fire. Stay up to date at https://t.co/oPxupRUI86 #nswrfs #nswfires pic.twitter.com/GtsTEkOzHr— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) September 10, 2019
Power has been lost in Wooloweyah and Angourie. The Essential Energy website indicates around 375 customers have been affected.
UPDATE 12PM: ANGOURIE and Wooloweyah remain the primary areas of concern to the RFS at the Shark Creek blaze.
The fire has burnt more than 8,200ha and is active south of the two villages with southerly winds fanning the flames.
It remains at watch and act status and has crossed the intersection of Angourie Rd and Lake Boulevard on the east and west side of Angourie Rd.
Firefighters are supported by aircraft to get control lines in place in a bid to prevent the fire head towards Yamba.
The RFS said Brooms Head Rd is open but the area should be avoided. Angourie Rd is open to local residents only but these conditions could change with minimal notice.
The spotfire south of McIntyres Lane, Gulmarrad remains out of control but crews are working to get containment lines in place.
Residents in areas near Angourie, Wooloweyah, Gulmarrad and Yamba need to monitor the situation and enact their bushfire survival plan.
People with health issues should be cautious and take appropriate action such as staying indoors and keeping windows and doors closed to protect from smoke.
UPDATE 11AM: ANGOURIE Rd is officially closed however some residents are being allowed in and out of the villages of Angourie and Wooloweyah with police escort.
There is a heavy RFS and SES presence in both towns with air craft in action again this morning.
Yamba and Gulmarrad Public Schools are both closed today due to the threat of fire.
This video shows the terrifying scenes firefighters walked into last night at Angourie, check it out:
This was the scene that confronted firefighters at Angourie overnight, south of Yamba, as burning embers were blown close to homes. Difficult conditions again today with strong winds across the fireground. Vid: Mark Hansen Woodburn RFB #NSWRFS pic.twitter.com/w71hjBJnhv— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) September 10, 2019
UPDATE 10AM: THE southerly change firefighters were dreading has hit the Shark Creek fire area, and the RFS predict it may push the fire closer to Yamba.
Firefighters are currently working to protect homes in Angourie and Wooloweyah.
NSW RFS Clarence Valley incident controller Ian Smith said a section 44 declaration was made around 8pm last night which means fire crews from around the State will be brought in to help tackle the ferocious flames in the Clarence Valley.
A backburning operation was successful this morning on the southern side of Angourie and Wooloweyah with the fire line less than 1km south of both villages.
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A spot fire sparked north of Angourie yesterday, that fire is active and crews are putting in containment lines alongside aircraft who are dropping retardant to contain the fire that it is currently at the "last line of defence" before potentially heading north towards Yamba.
The southerly change has reached the Shark Creek bush fire near Yamba. Firefighters are working close to homes in Angourie and Wooloweyah. The change may push the fire closer to Yamba today. The Large Air Tanker was used extensive yesterday to protect homes in the area. #NSWRFS pic.twitter.com/VXncDoi8RX— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) September 9, 2019
An active spot fire also remains out of control near Gulmarrad. Crews are confident they can get the blaze under control but residents in the area need to monitor conditions as the southerly winds may have an impact on the fire.
Residents in areas near Angourie, Wooloweyah, Yamba and Gulmarrad need to know what to do should fire threaten. Enact your bushfire survival plan now and keep updated.
UPDATE 8AM: YAMBA fire and rescue trucks were lined up on Angourie Rd this morning waiting for the fire to abate before heading into the fire ground to protect the coastal villages of Angourie and Wooloweyah.
The crews used foam retardant to help contain the flames which gives the flora a snow-like appearance.
EARLIER: Shark Creek fire (Watch and act)
STRONG gusts up to 80km/h are forecast this morning and will hinder firefighters efforts to contain the blaze.
The NSW RFS state the southerly winds of up to 80km/h could hit by 11am.
A containment line of the 7,753ha fire was breached overnight north of Angourie, east of Angourie Rd. The fire has slowly progressed towards Yamba and is burning north and south of Angourie and Wooloweyah.
A southerly change forecast this morning is expected to impact the fireground late this morning and could push the fire further towards Yamba.
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The southern side of Angourie and Wooloweyah are still impacted after the blaze hit around 5pm yesterday.
However, at Gulmarrad backburning operations have helped firefighters strengthen the containment lines.
Firefighters are in place to protect homes. Residents in areas of Wooloweyah, Angourie, Yamba or Gulmarrad, monitor conditions and ensure you know what you will do if fire threatens.
Be alert for burning embers which may be blown ahead of the main firefront. These may start new fires.
Conditions can change quickly, ensure you know your bushfire survival plan and check the RFS website for regular updates.
An evacuation centre is open at Yamba Bowling Club, 44 Wooli St.
Bees Nest fire (Watch and act)
THE fire is burning north of Ebor and to the north west of Dorrigo, a large spot fire has also broken out heading towards the Bostobrick area.
The fire has impacted Armidale Road and Tyringham Road, in the vicinity of Tyringham and Dundarrabin.
The spot fire is burning in the Muldiva State Forest, heading towards Tyringham Road, in the Bostobrick area.
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Firefighters are continuing to work with landholders to protect isolated properties in the area, with many calls for assistance with property protection overnight.
Strong west to south westerly winds are currently affecting the area. This will continue to push the fire in a north easterly direction.
If you are in the areas of Tyringham, Marengo, Moonpar, Billys Creek, Dundarrabin or Bostobrick, put your bush fire survival plan into action. Know what you will do if the fire threatens.
Residents in the area should continue to monitor to situation.
Well prepared and actively defended properties can offer protection.
Fire and fallen trees may continue to impact a number of local roads. Follow the directions of firefighters on the ground.
If you live in the area but are away from your home, it may not be safe to return to your property.
SMOKE may affect visibility on the Pacific Highway between Tyndale and Yamba, please drive carefully and to the conditions.
Brooms Head Rd between Platers Rd and Sandon River Rd remains closed.
Angourie Rd is also closed between Yamba Rd and Angourie township. Reports indicate only local residents may be given access.
For the latest traffic update visit Live Traffic NSW.