Middle Creek Rd bushfire
Middle Creek Rd bushfire Frank Redward

Crews faced another long night on fire grounds

UPDATE: Homes have so far been spared as strong, dry westerly winds continue to hamper efforts to contain numerous bushfires across the Clarence Valley.

Out of control fires at Middle Creek Rd and Whiteman Creek remain the major concern as crews prepared for a long night last night battling the fires.

"The two fires of major concern are the Middle Creek Rd fire which has extended as far as Kungala and the Clarence Way fire at Whiteman Creek," Clarence Valley Rural Fire Service district manager Superintendent Stuart Watts said.

"Wind is still not favourable and proving quite challenging for firefighting crews. But ground crews are working hard, supported by aircraft, and we have had no property loss at this point in time.

"People in McGills Rd area and adjoining roads, Parker Rd and The Desert Rd need to be very conscious of the fire activity.

"At the Whiteman fire, during the the driest part of the day between 2pm and 4pm we experienced a number of break outs and spot-overs.

"Currently the main focus is consolidation of the western side of the fire and the breakout that has occurred over Greberts Rd.

"It is anticipated that the fire will progress to the east and in the next 24 hours will bring properties along Coledale Rd under threat."

"There are still a number of other fires burning remotely which RFS will attend once Middle Creek Road and Whiteman Creek fires are brought under control."

For the latest up-to-date information throughout the night follow Fires Near Me and the NSW RFS Facebook page or website or seek advice of on-ground crews.

Fire smouldering at Clearfield near Rappville on Sunday, August 11.
Fire smouldering at Clearfield near Rappville on Sunday, August 11. Susanna Freymark

UPDATE SUNDAY 6PM:  THE Rural Fire Service are reporting two fires have converged near Rappville and are continuing to burn east towards Summerland Way.

The highway remains closed between Casino and Grafton. 

The fire is also burning to the west near Six Mile Swamp and moving in an easterly direction towards the rail line.

Firefighters are working with a number of property owners in the area.

Residents in Clearfield Road should monitor the situation and know what they will do in the event the fire threatens.

Follow your Bush Fire Survival Plan. If you do not have a Bush Fire Survival Plan, ensure you know what you will do if the fire threatens your property. Only well prepared and actively defended homes can offer safety.

If you plan to leave, or you are not prepared and there is a safer place nearby, leave now if it is safe to do so. If you are in doubt or it is not safe to leave, take shelter in a solid structure when the fire front arrives. Protect yourself from the heat of the fire. If you are caught in the path of the fire, you may die or be injured.

 

UPDATE SUNDAY 3PM: SUMMERLAND Way has been closed as bushfires at Rappville continue to worsen.

The road has been closed between Casino and Grafton. 

The fire at Rappville remains at watch and act. 

All residents are urged to check Fires Near Me or the RFS website for regular updates and to follow firefighters directions on the ground.  

UPDATE SUNDAY 1PM: A BUSHFIRE burning at Rappville has been upgraded to watch and act.

The blaze is out of control and is burning along Clearfield Rd south of Rappville township.

The northern most part of fire is burning near Myrtle Creek Rd and Clearfield Rd and is burning in an east to north east direction towards Summerland Way.

Firefighters are on the scene to protect properties. Residents in Clearfield Road should monitor the situation and know what they will do in the event the fire threatens.

All residents are urged to check Fires Near Me or the RFS website for regular updates and to follow firefighters directions on the ground.  

Trains between Sydney and Brisbane remain closed from Rappville and Lawrence Rd

UPDATE SUNDAY 12.30PM: FIRE crews continue to work to contain the blaze at Kremnos near Lanitza.

The fire is burning in an easterly direction and has crossed Orara Way and north of Curlew Drive and is burning towards Parker Drive.

Crews are working to keep the fire west of Parker Road but are up against strong winds. There are currently no homes under threat but conditions may change and residents should be alert and prepared.

READ MORE HERE

All residents are urged to check Fires Near Me or the RFS website for regular updates and information and to follow firefighters directions on the ground.   


UPDATE SUNDAY 9AM: THE Kremnos fire has been downgraded but remains out of control. 

The RFS state fire activity is increasing and there are currently no homes under threat but residents need to monitor the situation. 

Smoke is affecting the Pacific Highway and motorists are urged to be cautious.

UPDATE, SUNDAY 8AM: THE out of control fire burning in the Kangaroo Creek, Hayards Crossing and Kungala area is now graded as watch and act. 

The fire is burning in an easterly direction and has crossed Orara Way north of Curlew Drive and is burning towards Parker Drive.

Firefighters are working to protect homes in the area. 

An emergency declaration has been made with outside crews helping local efforts.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

Residents in Parker Rd, Citris Drive and Perch Rd should monitor their properties for spot fires. 

Residents in the area of Sandstone Drive, Blackbutt Rd, McGills Road, Kungala Rd, the Orara Way should monitor the situation and know what they will do in the event the fire threatens.

Orara Way remains closed as firefighters work to control the blaze.

 

UPDATE, SUNDAY 12.45AM: The train line between Sydney and Brisbane has been closed due to an out of control bushfire south of Casino.

An Emergency Warning was issued at 11.48pm on Saturday night for the bushfire at Rappville as spot fires continue to threaten nearby homes.

READ THE ARTICLE HERE

UPDATE, 11PM: The Orara Way has closed and an emergency warning issued as a bushfire south of Grafton burns out of control.

The NSW Rural Fire Service raised the alert level at 10.35pm and at 11.04pm issued a statement that said fire activity had increased and emergency Alert text messages were being sent to residents in the Kangaroo Creek, Hayards Crossing and Kungala area.

Residents in the area of Sandstone Drive, Blackbutt Rd, McGills Road, Kungala Rd and Orara Way were advised to seek shelter in a solid structure as the fire approaches.

If your life is at risk, call triple-0 immediately. Continue to stay up to date with the bush fire situation by checking the RFS website or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.

The fire started between Kangaroo Creek and Kremnos and this afternoon was elevated to Watch and Act. It has spread quickly to the east and crossed the Orara Way near Lanitza and has now burned an area of 1070ha.

NSW Rural Fire Service has issued an Emergency Warning alert for an out of control bushfire that has crossed the Orara Way near Kungala south of Grafton on Saturday night, 10th August, 2019.
NSW Rural Fire Service has issued an Emergency Warning alert for an out of control bushfire that has crossed the Orara Way near Kungala south of Grafton on Saturday night, 10th August, 2019. NSW RFS

UPDATE, 5PM: The alarm has been raised at another fire site as strong winds hamper firefighting efforts across the Clarence Valley.

The NSW Rural Fire Service has issued a Watch and Act alert after a bushfire at Middle Creek Rd near Kremnos south of Grafton quickly escalated out of control this afternoon.

Two fires at Kremnos and Kangaroo Creek south of Grafton flared up due to strong westerly winds during the afternoon on Saturday, 10th August, 2019.
Two fires at Kremnos and Kangaroo Creek south of Grafton flared up due to strong westerly winds during the afternoon on Saturday, 10th August, 2019. NSW RFS

Two waterbombing aircraft were diverted from a fire about 40km awayt at Whiteman Creek, where consolidated firefighting efforts on the ground continue, to react to the blaze which has so far covered an area of 1070 hectares.

"We're at that witching hour when the wind picks up speed, and it's coming directly from the west which is the worst case for spot fires," RFS divisional commander Scott Campbell told The Daily Examiner from the Whiteman Creek fire ground as the Kremnos fire alert was raised.

The fire is burning in a south-easterly direction and firefighters are in position to protect homes if required.   Residents in the area of Sandstone Drive and McGills Road, Kremnos need to continue to monitor the situation.

  UPDATE, 2.30PM: Fire conditions have eased at Whiteman Creek this afternoon but residents are urged to continue to monitor fire activity in the area.

"That situation has now eased but residents should continue to monitor that situation should conditions change during the afternoon," NSW Rural Fire Service spokesperson James Morris said.

Remnants of the bushfire which swept through Whiteman Creek Road on Saturday, 10th August, 2019.
Remnants of the bushfire which swept through Whiteman Creek Road on Saturday, 10th August, 2019. Jess Hallett

 

"We're looking at conditions easing later this evening, which will hopefully allow firefighters to consolidate and strengthen containment under more favourable conditions.

"However, it's still going to be a long afternoon for firefighters."

Mr Morris encouraged people to download the Fires Near Me app, which can be setup to be notify residents of any fire updates within a chosen 50km radius.

A fire crowns a tree at one of several fires currently burning in the Clarence Valley.
A fire crowns a tree at one of several fires currently burning in the Clarence Valley. NSW RFS

UPDATE, 1PM: There are currently more than 100 firefighters on the ground fighting bushfires across the Clarence Valley as strong winds hamper firefighting efforts.

Three fires are of particular concern, according to Clarence Valley Rural Fire Service Superintendent Stuart Watts, including the grassfire at Whiteman Creek.

"People in the area should enact their bushfire survival plan and follow advice from firefighters," Supt Watts said.

All roads in the area remain open.

Meanwhile fires at Firth Heinz Road in the Pillar Valley and near Kimbin Pikatene Road at Alice in the Upper Clarence Valley remain active.

"These are the fires that are causing the most concern at this time given their proximity to a number of rural dwellings that have come under impact this morning," Supt Watts said.

Supt Watts confirmed no dwellings have been lost in the region at this point in time.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds in many parts of the state including the Northern Rivers at 10.24am today.

Dry and windy conditions have ignited an unseasonal bushfire season with multiple fires currently burning throughout the northeast of the state.
Dry and windy conditions have ignited an unseasonal bushfire season with multiple fires currently burning throughout the northeast of the state. NSW RFS


UPDATE, SAT 10.30AM: Firefighters are battling to protect homes as fire activity in the Whiteman Creek west of Grafton.

The out of control grassfire continues to burn in an easterly direction along the Clarence Way towards the Clarence River.

Firefighters are on the scene and are being supported by waterbombing aircraft.

The NSW Rural Fire Service has issued a Watch and Act alert and urged people in the area to enact their bushfire survival plan.

UPDATE 5.30PM: The Rural Fire Service has downgraded the threat level of a 321ha fire at Whiteman Creek to advice status.

Clarence Way has since reopened to the public.

SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGE DISCUSS USE WITH YOUR EDITOR - OUT OF CONTROL: Aerial footage of the large bush fire burning near Whiteman Creek.
SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGE DISCUSS USE WITH YOUR EDITOR - OUT OF CONTROL: Aerial footage of the large bush fire burning near Whiteman Creek. NSW Rural Fire Service/Facebook

UPDATE 3PM: Road closures are in place around the Whiteman Creek area as fire crews continue to battle an out-of-control fire.

The fire has grown to 321ha in size as multiple Rural Fire Service crews battle to contain the blaze.

Coffs/Clarence Police District duty officer Chief Inspector Joanne Reid said a number of homes in the area were under threat earlier in the day before they were saved by RFS Clarence Valley District crews.

However, the fire had since jumped containment lines established by the RFS, with strong winds making the work of fire crews difficult.

The fire is at a watch and act alert level, and residents in the area are advised to enact their bush fire plans.

ROAD CLOSURES:

  • Whitemans Creek Rd
  • Clarence Way at Summerland Way
  • Clarence Way at Eastern Greverts Rd

EARLIER: AN OUT-of-control grass fire has been upgraded to watch and act status, as Rural Fire Service crews battle to contain the fire.

The fire is currently 22ha in size, and currently burning around Clarence Way, Whiteman Creek.

Numerous resources have been deployed to contain the fire, including the RFS large aerial tanker water bomber aircraft.

Residents near the area of in the vicinity of Whiteman Creek Rd and Clarence Way are advised to enact their bush fire plan.