Firefighters Brace for Tough Time


A fire in a pine plantation northwest of Casino is one of several blazes causing concern for Northern Rivers crews battling against difficult weather conditions today
Lightning strikes, thick smoke and strong winds are making it a difficult day for firefighters across the Northern Rivers.
Rural Fire Service Superintendent Michael Brett says weather conditions will worsen this afternoon.
“The winds this afternoon will strengthen from the southeast, up to about 45km,” he said.
“What that will do is place pressure on our containment lines and make containment strategies fairly awkward.”
He also said thick smoke was making it hard for crews to determine exactly where blazes were burning.
“Yesterday we had a fairly significant dry storm come through the region and we’ve picked up a fire this morning to the west of Sextonville, northwest of Casino, burning in a State Forests pine plantation and we’re putting resources into that fire to try to get some containment on it well before the predicted wind this afternoon,” he said.
“The problem we have is that, based on the number of lightning strikes we had yesterday, we don’t know how many fires we have and we won’t know until this afternoon because the weather conditions have inhibited putting an aircraft up because there’s so much smoke.
“So we are a little bit concerned there is going to be significant fire activity around the Northern Rivers this afternoon.”
He said at least eight blazes were also still burning in remote areas of the Clarence Valley.
A very high fire danger is in place across the region and fire permits are suspended.
Continue to stay up-to-date with the bush fire situation by checking the Rural Fire Service website , listening to your local ABC (find your frequency here) or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.
You can also follow the NSW Rural Fire Service on Twitter and Facebook.
For weather information, including current warnings, visit the Bureau of Meteorology website.
For information on road closures, check the RTA Live Traffic website . Roads may be closed without warning.
If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.
Source: ABC News

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