Fire and power update for the North West

THE firefighting efforts for Rural Fire Service crews continued across the North West region today, while Essential Energy crews continue to replace fire damaged power poles and the fallout from weekend storms.

In what has been a busy week for emergency services, their efforts continued mostly in and around Tamworth and Coonabarabran today.

There are fears the Wambelong fire, west of Coonabarabran, could threaten properties in the Bingie Grumble Rd area and isolated rural properties along Tanabah Rd later today because of increased wind speed and direction. 

The fire has burnt through 42,000 hectares and has been moving slowly east through private property.

Firefighters are working to strengthen containment lines in the south east of the fire to protect Coonabarabran in anticipation of deteriorating weather conditions tomorrow.

Forty properties and 110 outbuildings have been confirmed destroyed, and more than 200 firefighters are battling the blaze.

Another fire burning 50km north east of Coonabarabran remains uncontained, although no properties are threatened at this time.

Meanwhile there was no change at the Sulcor Mine grass fire near Attunga today, which was deemed "under control."

The fire was sparked on Sunday afternoon by a lightning strike and had initially threatened at least one isolated property.

Tamworth District Rural Fire Service (RFS) crews responded quickly, with help from water bombers above, to control the blaze.

Tamworth RFS crews were on scene again yesterday, attending to the blaze that had so far claimed about 295 hectares. 

POWER: There were still 226 homes and businesses without power early this morning following severe storms that rocked the North West on Sunday night as well as damage to power lines by fire this week.

About 25,000 homes were affected during the storms with power still out to around 5000 on Monday morning and down to 717 on Tuesday afternoon.

Around 94 homes around Coonabarabran were without power this morning while 85 homes were reported to have power outages in Narrabri.

Twenty-five homes in Gunnedah were still without power.

Essential Energy says additional crews from across the state remain in the affected locations assisting local crews restore power as quickly as safety will allow.

To restore power to all households and businesses in the Baradine area, Essential Energy will need to replace at least 89 power poles - some of this work has already been completed which has allowed power to the main part of Baradine to be restored already.

 Extra crews have been on site since Monday and truck loads of power poles have already been delivered directly from the supplier to the site.

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