Members of Casino RFS Brigade helped out other local brigades to control a bushfire west of Rappville.
Members of Casino RFS Brigade helped out other local brigades to control a bushfire west of Rappville. Casino-Yorklea RFS

Residents flee as fire burns dangerously close to homes

Thursday 7.15am: Fire crews have worked through the night to control bushfires burning across the Northern Rivers.

It appears that some residents living near the fire at Upper Main Arm last night decided to evacuate.

Eve Sinton posted on Facebook: "I have evacuated. Fire only 100m from the back fence. Fireys are up there. Managed to fit 6 dogs, plus 4 cats in cages in the Jeep. It was a chaotic ride. Have refuge at a friend's place ... hope to find my home still standing in the morning (90% sure it will be OK)."

Water bombing at the fire at Upper Main Arm.
Water bombing at the fire at Upper Main Arm. Eve Sinton

This morning she returned home to find everything was safe.

"The fire in the gully appears to be out. It's burning on the opposite ridge now," Ms Sinton put on Facebook this morning.

According to the RFS' Fires Near Me website, the Upper Main Arm bushfire is "under control" and has burnt more than 180ha.

The Casino-Yorklea RFS crew was kept busy yesterday battling a fire near Rappville, with some impressive photos taken by members and posted on the brigade's Facebook page.

Members of Casino RFS Brigade helped out other local brigades to control a bushfire west of Rappville.
Members of Casino RFS Brigade helped out other local brigades to control a bushfire west of Rappville. Casino-Yorklea RFS Facebook page


Wednesday 12.17pm: NUMEROUS fires across the Northern Rivers will continue to burn for weeks, with no rain on the horizon until mid-October, according to the Rural Fire Service.

Northern Rivers Zone Manager Superintendent Michael Brett said the fires are being controlled, but will keep crews busy until we get decent rainfall.

"The big problem is we have had no rain," Supt Brett.

"Usually we see early spring rain - we're not going to see that (this year).

"It's a normal weather pattern for this area that we haven't seen in about four years."

He said while containment lines are in place, unburnt pockets within those lines continue to burn, putting up a lot of smoke which can cause concern to the public.

Wardell fire 

The fire burning at Wardell near Back Channel Rd has now burnt more than 350 hectares, but is now contained.

Supt Brett said crews were continuing to back burn and strengthen containment lines at the site.

He said there would be active firefighting at the Wardell fire over the next few days, with five local RFS trucks on scene, with 25 personnel.

Hogarth Range

It's estimated 2000 hectares of private property and nature reserve will be burnt at Hogarth Range once containment lines are in place.

The fire, west of Casino, was a result of a fire lit on a property escaping control in strong westerly winds on Sunday.

Supt Brett said the fire fanned to the east in strong winds yesterday but is now being controlled by five RFS crews.

Belmore State Forest Complex of Fires

Two fires burning in remote, timbered country have now been combined in the Belmore State Forest to form the Belmore State Forest Complex of Fires.

Heavy earth moving equipment, and crews from Belmore State Forest and RFS are involved in protecting assests in the area.

Supt Brett said there is no threat to life or property at present, but crews are protecting a mango farm and a couple of isolated properties.

He said it is expected to be a long, protracted burn - a couple of weeks - given the countryside.


National Parks are patrolling a hazard reduction burn in the Bungawalbin National Park, to ensure it stays within containment lines.


A fire burning at Tabbimoble is the result of a fire on private property.

There was no formal approval for the lighting of the fire that has now escaped into the Devils Pulpit State Forest.

The fire is being monitored by RFS, State Forestry and National Parks.

Main Arm

The fire at Main Arm is under control.

RFS crews continue to monitor the fire as it burns within containment lines.

Free fire permits are required before lighting a fire, and can be obtained by contacting your local Rural Fire Service.


Wednesday 7.40am: THE Rural Fire Service is still working to control a bushfire that is raging at Wardell.

The blaze is on Back Channel Rd and has been burning since 10pm on Monday.

It is now listed as "being controlled".

The fire has burnt an area of 108ha.


Tuesday 2.35pm: FIREFIGHTING crews are continuing to work on the Wardell fire which is burning out of control.

Rural Fire Service Inspector Bob Wilcox said he expects crews will be in for a busy evening.

"We will be most definitely working through the night," he said.

"The fire is still not contained."

Insp Wilcox said fortunately fire-fighters are able to draught water from local creeks, as well as being able to use reticulated water supplies.

"Local brigades working on Cabbage Tree Island at the back of Wardell have access to town water," he said.

He said he was pleased people appeared to be observing fire restrictions forbidding burning off.

"Today has been pretty good with no burn-offs reported."

Insp Wilcox said the fire at Main Arm which has been burning for two weeks has flared up again.

"At the moment we have a group captain and crew out at the fire and will no doubt step up our response there," he said.

"Tomorrow will be similar with dry conditions and low humidity." 

Tuesday 9.30am: CURRENTLY 10 fire trucks and 30 fire-fighters are on scene at the Wardell fire.

According to Rural Fire Service Inspector Bob Wilcox, crews have been working on containing the out of control fire since 10pm Monday.

A number of fires are currently burning on the Northern Rives.
A number of fires are currently burning on the Northern Rives. Contributed RFS FIRES NEAR ME

"We have 10 tankers on scene and about 30 personnel who are mostly from the Ballina, Bryon and Tweed districts," he said.

"We had crews there from about 10pm last night and fresh crews there since 7am today."

The fact the fire was burning mostly bushland meant only a few paddocks had been affected, he said.

Insp Wilcox said RFS had set up a staging area for placing resources and where crews could be briefed and fed.

"Down at Back Channel Rd we have set up a staging area on sugar cane loading pad," Insp Wilcox said.

"We have a catering crew on the way from Ballina- Byron area, although the earlier crews were fed out of local shops."

Insp Wilcox said he anticipates crews will be on scene all day.

He said people must adhere to fire restrictions or face significant charges.

"All fire permits have been suspended due to the very high danger serious consequences and police will be involved," he said.

"I'd like people to be careful and vigilant and report any fires they see, because while we have moderately high temperatures, we have very low humidity which makes for a dangerous situation."




Tuesday 7.53 am: FIRES Near Me is currently reporting an out of control bushfire in the Wardell area.

The exact location of the fire is 135 Back Channel Road, Wardell and covers 108ha.



Wardell fire on Back Channel Road
Wardell fire on Back Channel Road Contributed

It is at advice level only and the Rural Fires Service is on the scene.

More details to come.

Other fires burning today include a grass fire on the Bruxner Highway at Alphadale and a bushfire at Hoare Lane, Dungarubba that covers a hectare of land.