EMERGENCY services are braced for another day of fire emergencies with severe fire danger ratings for New England and Northern Slopes today.
This comes in the wake of a day of dangerous fire conditions yesterday when houses were threatened by fire on Kangaroo Flat Rd at Yarrowitch, 48km east of Walcha and 165km east of Tamworth, with water-bombing aircraft assisting Rural Fire Service crews in their fight against the flames.
There were five fixed-wing aircraft and two helicopters water-bombing the fire, supporting 14 trucks and 50 firefighters.
The 177-hectare bush and scrub fire burned around Blomfield Rd and Kangaroo Flat Rd at Yarrowitch, about 55km south-east of Walcha.
New England Inspector Tim Butcher said the Yarrowitch fire threatened homes yesterday afternoon after easterly and southerly winds moved the fire into inaccessible country and the fire then moved up behind properties on Kangaroo Flat Rd.
“The ground crews are meeting the fire as it comes to the houses,” he said.
“There is a lot of fire action in inaccessible country.”
There was a watch-and- act in place for residents in the area yesterday afternoon.
Today the fire danger rating for the New England and Northern Slopes is severe, with total fire bans in place. There is a very high fire danger for the North Western region.
The Bruxner Highway was closed between Yetman and Texas due to a bushfire in the area yesterday.
Northern Tablelands Rural Fire Service Superintendent Chris Wallbridge said eight tank crews were working to contain the fire while the weather was on their side.
Superintendent Wallbridge said the winds were nowhere near as bad yesterday as they had been. Crews from Inverell, the Northern Tablelands and the national parks service, as well as a bulldozer, worked on the fire.
He said they were backburning and aimed to complete it last night, ahead of winds and very low humidity expected today.
“Hopefully it’ll all be contained and we’ll have time to mop it up and try to hold it,” he said.
The fire started on Thursday and is 8km east of Yetman. It covered an area of 1700 hectares, but Superintendent Wallbridge said it would grow to about 3000 hectares before it was contained. In the Tamworth region, a fire in the village of Nundle was causing problems yesterday, but was extinguished last night. It was deliberately lit by a resident burning off, but spread to two of his sheds, destroying four vehicles and machinery.
Tamworth RFS Inspector Steve Prior said a crew was working on remedial work at Tarpoly.
*** FIRE crews spent much of last night battling a large building fire that erupted near Westdale.
Just after 8.30pm Fire and Rescue NSW rushed to reports of a factory fire off Gunnedah Rd near Oakburn Park.
Multiple firefighting trucks, as well as RFS crews, were called to back up firefighters, with the building well alight.
No roads were closed at the time The Leader went to press.