COOLING OFF: Yamba locals  Seth (front, left) and Toby Burnes and  Joshua (back, left) and Cassius Hippi escape the heat at the Yamba Community Pool on Saturday.
COOLING OFF: Yamba locals Seth (front, left) and Toby Burnes and Joshua (back, left) and Cassius Hippi escape the heat at the Yamba Community Pool on Saturday. Debrah Novak

Fire danger better than could be expected in the heat

CLARENCE Valley farmers could be the ones doing it toughest with three days of temperatures above 38°C forecast to start this week.

Grazier Fred Morgan said these blistering temperatures were the only time farmers had anything positive to say about daylight saving.

"This sort of weather is very tough on anyone working with cattle,” he said.

"You have to get up very early and get your work done really by about 10am, so that's where daylight saving helps.”

Mr Morgan's property, in the Carnham Valley, north west of Grafton, has experienced a number of storms, culminating in a devastating hailstorm on Thursday.

"I'm 82 and I've never seen anything like it,” he said.

"There was hail six inches deep across a stretch about a mile-and-half wide.

"In some of the gullies the hail was two-feet deep.”

Mr Morgan said it was hard to measure the accompanying rainfall because the hail clogged rain gauges, but he estimated about 50mm fell in a short time.

He said farmers in other areas in the valley, which missed out on the recent storms, were starting to struggle.

"Around Copmanhurst and Ulmarra, where there's no surface water, it's starting to get really dry.

"The cattle have to walk to water troughs to get a drink and it's really important to ensure they have enough shade.”

NSW Rural Fire Service Inspector Ben Shepherd said the region might have dodged an elevated bushfire threat.

"While they're predicting temperatures around the 40°C mark, they're not forecasting the sort of weather that creates catastrophic fire conditions,” Insp Shepherd said.

"Also the humidity is very high which also has an impact on fire danger. Because of that you're unlikely to see total fire bans in the Clarence.”

Grafton Aquatic Centre manager Allura Paterson said the high temperatures were good news for the region's pool owners.

"We've been really busy and it looks like it's going to be a busy week,” she said.

"We're putting on extra staff in anticipation of a busy week at the pool.”



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