THICK smoke from the fires down south blanketed the region yesterday, but our areas remained safe so we helped our neighbours.
Superintendent Allyn Purkiss said a Remote Area Firefighting Team was sent to the Hunter region on Thursday, but were stood down.
“We are all on standby, but with the lightning strikes and storms we’ve had, they’re not too keen on taking too many people from here,” he said.
There were no bushfires in the Tamworth Rural Fire Service area, with weekend weather conditions looking favourable for firefighters.
Superintendent Purkiss said the smoke was from Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong fires due to the southerly winds, and said the smoke had that “distinctive burning house smell”.
There were three fires burning in the Liverpool Plains area in Murrurundi, Timor and one near the Barrington Tops, but all were at patrol levels yesterday.
Liverpool Range zone will suspend permits from 12.01am Sunday, which will be reviewed on a weekly basis to assess when permits will resume.
Namoi/Gwydir region Inspector Brett Loughlin said there were no fires in his region, but there was “thick, choking smoke”.
“We had dozens of phone calls from concerned residents and we’ve done an extensive fly-over of areas affected by lightning, but at this stage, no new fires have been detected,” he said.
“We urge people to be vigilant over the weekend with temperatures expected to be between 30 and 34 degrees. The last thing we need in this part of the world is fires, because it will affect our ability to help out down south.”
Inspector Loughlin said they hadn’t sent any crews out of the areas as yet, with discussions ongoing about the matter.
“They are exhausting a lot of the crews from the immediate vicinity, then they’ll start to pull firefighters and key personnel from other areas,” he said.
The New England region also had no new fires.
North West and Northern Slopes have a high fire danger today and New England continues to have a low-moderate fire danger rating.