Highway closed as grassfire burns out of control
THE Gwydir Highway has reopened after it was closed for several hours due to a grassfire west of Grafton today.
The highway was closed from about 3.30pm until 6pm today as smoke from the grassfire severely affected visibility in the area.
Live Traffic NSW continues to warn motorists to allow extra travel time and reduce speed in the area near Cangai Rd between Cangai and Jackadgery, which is being attended by emergency services.
NSW Rural Fire Service are monitoring the grassfire and currently reporting its status as 'out of control'.
Earlier today the RFS brought a structure fire at Malabugilmah, also in the Upper Clarence Valley, under control.
There are currently 33 fires in the northeast of the state being reported by NSW Rural Fire Service, including grassfires at Whiporie, Carnham, Tabulam and Buccarumbi.
The dry winter conditions are expected to continue in the region with no rain predicted in the Bureau of Meteorogy's long range seven-day forecast for Grafton.
Landholders have been urged to take extra care after a handful of fires got out of hand across the Northern Rivers.
Northern Rivers Rural Fire Service Inspector Daniel Ainsworth has urged landholders to take extra care after his crews were called to seven separate fires throughout Friday. Most had been from landowners who had been caught unawares by the conditions.
He said dry and windy conditions had led to hazard reduction burns getting out of control. Most have led to grass fires, while one sparked a blaze in heavy timber country, he said.
Insp Ainsworth warned landowners the wind was expected to increase tomorrow.
He urged those planning to light up to notify their neighbours and their local Fire Control Centre, as is legally required.
He said it was also vital to not light fires in dangerous conditions and to ensure sufficient firefighting equipment is nearby.
Click here for the latest information on fires in NSW.