Boggabri fire: Emergency warning in place for Binnalong Rd bushfire at Boggabri

Out-of-control: The massive Binnalong Rd fire scorched everything in its path and forced the closure of the Kamilaroi Highway at Boggabri. Photos: Kristian Hancock
Out-of-control: The massive Binnalong Rd fire scorched everything in its path and forced the closure of the Kamilaroi Highway at Boggabri. Photos: Kristian Hancock

UPDATE Monday, 12pm: NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has delivered a report on a firefighter injured in the fire at Boggabri.

“He has serious burns to the arms, face and hands,” he said.

“He was hospitalised in Tamworth [Sunday night] with serious concerns for airways and respiratory issues as a result of the burns.

Speaking to the firefighter in hospital on Monday, “I said I’m so glad to hear to hear you’re talking which means your breathing is good.”

On Monday, the firefighter was to be transported to Sydney for “specialist burns treatment focusing on the hands which will need ongoing treatment.

“He knows there will be months of treatment and recovery before he has function of his hands again.”

Earlier…. 

Emergency warning: 

ONE person has been badly burnt by a massive fire that erupted near Boggabri and destroyed everything in its path.

The firestorm emergency unfolded shortly after lunch on Sunday when a blaze broke out and took off in what firefighters have described as catastrophic conditions.

An emergency warning was issued warning residents to take shelter immediately from the fire.

One member of the public – believed to be a resident trying to fight the blaze - suffered serious burns and a medical retrieval team was quickly tasked to fly them to Sydney for specialist treatment.

Homes, sheds, machinery and stock are believed to have been lost in the Binnalong Rd fire which engulfed paddocks in seconds, jumping the Kamilaroi Highway and the Namoi River.

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said crews were battling hellish conditions, with the fire raging out of control in minutes, pushed by strong winds.

“I have got indications that on the Boggabri fire, there may be one home lost,” he said.

“It's also being described as a fast running, aggressively burning fire, quite volatile.”

Out of control: One person has suffered burns in the Binnalong Rd fire. Photo: Kristian Hancock

Out of control: One person has suffered burns in the Binnalong Rd fire. Photo: Kristian Hancock

Firefighters battled to fight the blaze which had burnt through more than 2000 hectares by 6pm.

“Firefighters and aircraft are doing all they can … we are seeing property impacted, and we're expecting to see property lost,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

Local Kristian Hancock said Boggabri had lost power. 

“I believe it topped 46 degrees earlier, and with the hot wind coming off the fire it was probably at least 50,” he said. 

“We are all just driving round town keeping each other informed, I helped a mate move some cattle.

“It's bloody hot, the winds have dropped off a bit, but with no power and no air conditioning - in side the house is just like an oven.”

Latest road closures

The Kamilaroi Highway is closed again between Gunnedah and Boggabri due to a bush fire.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area.

Additionally, the following roads remain closed due to bush fires:

-The Golden Highway between Leadville and Denman. Diversions are in place via the New England Highway, Kamilaroi Highway, Oxley Highway, Mendooran Road and the Castlereagh Highway.

- ​Thunderbolts Way is closed between Scone Road, Barrington and Nowendoc. Diversions are in place via the Oxley Highway.

Motorists are advised to allow extra travel time, exercise caution and follow the direction of emergency services and traffic crews.

For the latest traffic information, visit www.livetraffic.com or call 132 701.

UPDATE: 5.15PM

One person has been seriously burnt in the out-of-control blaze at Boggabri.

The member of the public was injured on Sunday afternoon as the fire raged near the town.

The person is being flown to Sydney for specialist treatment for the burns, the RFS said.

Out of control: One person has suffered burns in the Binnalong Rd fire. Photo: Kristian Hancock

Out of control: One person has suffered burns in the Binnalong Rd fire. Photo: Kristian Hancock

Boggabri has lost all power as firefighters battle to control an out of control blaze.

An emergency warning remains in place and there are fears more than one home as well as sheds have been lost.

The fire is now more than 1500 hectares in size and still out of control, after jumping both the Namoi River and the Kamilaroi Highway.

Firefighters can still get access to water to douse the blaze which has been declared a major fire.

The RFS believes at least one home has been destroyed.

Out of control: One person has suffered burns in the Binnalong Rd fire. Photo: Kristian Hancock

Out of control: One person has suffered burns in the Binnalong Rd fire. Photo: Kristian Hancock

Locals have told Fairfax Media the firefighters are doing everything they can in the extreme conditions

RFS UPDATE: 3.30pm

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons  says the Boggabri fire is a “fast running, aggressive” fire.

“Indications on the Boggabri fire there might be one home lost,” he said.

The Binnalong Rd fire has been declared a major bushfire with an emergency warning.

Fire emergency: The bushfire reported near Boggabri. Photo: Ashley Gardner

Fire emergency: The bushfire reported near Boggabri. Photo: Ashley Gardner

Residents are being urged to take shelter.

The RFS says the fire is moving in an easterly direction.

“The fire has crossed the Kamilaroi Highway and the Namoi River. People in the area need to seek shelter as the fire front arrives.”

The highway remains closed.

A watch and act emergency warning has been issued for the Haire Dr, Narrabri fire.

ROADS CLOSED

Police have closed the Kamilaroi Highway at Boggabri.

Officers shut the road about 3km south of town after an out-of-control blaze threatened to jump the highway.

Police are on scene and have spoken with nearby residents about the fire, which is not threatening homes.

The highway has also been closed at Gunnedah.

BUSHFIRE EMERGENCY

THE Rural Fire Service is deploying firefighters to bushfires which have broken out around Gunnedah and Boggabri.

RFS trucks have been tasked to Oakham St at Boggabri after a giant blame plume of smoke was reported about 2pm.

Another fire has been reported on the Wean Rd at Gunnedah at 2pm.

Crews have also been sent to investigate reports of a fire on Peele St at Narrabri.

More to come.