Fireys gain upper hand in bushfire south of Yamba
CONDITIONS yesterday afternoon were favourable for firefighters on the ground and in the air and by 4pm the spread of the fire burning in bushland in the Yuraygir National Park and Shark Creek area had slowed.
Conditions and the immediate threat to properties had eased, as the danger level was reduced to advice alert level, however firefighters continued to work in the area.
The 9325ha fire threatened the coastal villages of Wooloweyah and Angourie on Monday night and into Tuesday.
NSW Rural Fire Service Clarence Valley district incident controller Ian Smith said the strong southerly gusts were forecast to hit at 2am but firefighters got a reprieve, with the winds hitting hours later about 10am.
Mr Smith said a Section 44 declaration was made about 8pm Monday, which meant fire crews from around the state would be brought in to help tackle the ferocious flames in the Clarence Valley.
A back-burning operation was successfully undertaken early yesterday, with fire crews using the less windy conditions to their advantage to keep the fire line at bay about 1km south of the villages.
Two spot fires sparked on Monday evening, one north of Angourie and one south of McIntyres Lane at Gulmarrad.
Mr Smith said fire crews were "confident" they could get the fire under control. At the time of publication it was uncontrolled but was not a direct threat to homes.
Meanwhile, the blaze north of Angourie posed a risk to Yamba in the north.
Mr Smith said the fire was at the "last line of defence" at mid-morning, with aircraft and crews working hard to put in containment lines.
Overhead, the sounds and sights of helicopters, the 737 Large Air Tanker and other aircraft became familiar to residents as retardant was dropped close to homes in a bid to prevent fire moving forward.
Mr Smith said one shed on Wallaby Lane was destroyed but there were no further reports of property damage.
Gulmarrad Rural Fire Brigade captain Andrew Paull has told residents not to "let your guard down".
In a post to the Gulmarrad Rural Fire Brigade Facebook page yesterday afternoon, Mr Paull said residents should "remain vigilant" and go to the RFS website or Fires Near Me app for the latest information.
For the latest information visit rfs.nsw.gov.au or download the Fires Near Me app. In an emergency phone 000.