Fire fighters at the scene of the blaze at Tabulam.
Fire fighters at the scene of the blaze at Tabulam. Marc Stapelberg

EMERGENCY WARNING: Erratic winds fan 'large dangerous fire'

UPDATE 10.22pm: BUSHFIRES burning west of Tabulam and at Jennings north of Tenterfield have been elevated to Emergency level.

A bush fire burning in the area of Jennings, on the NSW and Queensland border, north of Tenterfield has burnt more than 15,400h hectares.

This afternoon the fire spread several kilometres, under the influence of erratic winds.

The fire is burning in an easterly direction towards the Bruxner Highway.

There is an immediate threat to properties between Mount Lindesay Road and the Bruxner Highway.

The fire is moving towards Sandy Hill and Drake.

Advice

This fire is large and dangerous.

If you are in the area between Mount Lindesay Road and the Bruxner Highway, you are in danger. Leave now if the path is clear towards Tenterfield.

If the fire reaches your property and it is too late to leave, seek shelter immediately and protect yourself from the heat of the fire.

If you are in the area of Sandy Hill and Drake, be alert to smoke and embers.

An evacuation centre is being established at Tenterfield Memorial Hall on Molesworth Street.A bush fire burning near the Bruxner Highway, west of Tabulam has burnt more than 2,900ha.

The fire continues to burn on the northern and western edge. The fire is spreading in bushland near Sugarbag Road and properties are under threat.

Firefighters continue to work in the area in an effort to slow the spread of the fire.

Advice

If you are in the area of Sugarbag Road, it is too late to leave. Seek shelter if the fire impacts on your property or location. Protect yourself from the heat of the fire.

If you are in the area of Old Bruxner Road and Paddys Flat Road and Tabulam, continue to monitor the situation. Ensure you know what you will do if the situation changes.

Bruxner Highway is closed between Tambulam Road and Bruxner Road.

An evacuation centre is being set up at Bonalbo Bowling Club on Woodenbong Road.

A number of schools will be closed on Thursday including Tabulam Public School and Drake Public School.

Other Information

If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Continue to stay up to date with the bush fire situation by checking http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, listening to your local radio station or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.

If you live in the area but are away from home, it may not be safe to return to your property.

For information on road closures, check http://livetraffic.rta.nsw.gov.au. Roads may be closed without warning.

 

UPDATE 6.32pm: NSW RFS said there is an increase in fire activity across the western edge of the fire.

Strengthening winds have pushed the fire across Timbarra River, in the direction of Ogilvie Drive.

Emergency Alert text and phone messages have been sent to people in the area around Ogilvie Drive.

Crews are working to protect properties in the area. Firefighters have been supported by water boming aircraft today.

The eastern edge of the fire, south of Tabulam, remains quiet due to a successful backburn overnight.

There are reports of structural losses in the area. Building Impact Assessment teams have been on the fire ground today to assess losses.

Advice

If you are in the Ogilvie Drive area and your path is clear and you're not prepared, leave now to the south along Plains Station Road.

If you are in the area of Old Bruxner Road and Paddys Flat Road put your Bush Fire Survival Plan into action. If you do not have a Bush Fire Survival Plan, know what you will do if the fire threatens your property.

If you are in the area of Tabulam, continue to monitor the situation. Ensure you know what you will do if the situation changes.

Bruxner Highway is closed between Tambulam Road and Bruxner Road.

An evacuation centre is being set up at Bonalbo Bowling Club on Woodenbong Road.

A number of schools will be closed tomorrow including Tabulam Public School and Drake Public School.

Other Information

If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Continue to stay up to date with the bush fire situation by checking http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, listening to your local radio station or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.

If you live in the area but are away from home, it may not be safe to return to your property.

For information on road closures, check http://livetraffic.rta.nsw.gov.au. Roads may be closed without warning.

The next update on this fire will be issued by 13/02/2019 19:00 or if the situation changes.

 

UPDATE 2.51pm: TENTERFIELD Shire Council is warning residents of a potential risk toxic fumes could be emanating from the Boonoo Boonoo Landfill site as a result of the surrounding fires.

The landfill site, which is about 17kms north of Tenterfield on the Mt Lindesay Rd, is in the direct line of impact form the current fire front moving east from the Wallangarra and Jennings area.

Residents who are not at risk of fire impact are being asked to stay inside or take sensible protective precautions against the possible toxic fumes.

NSW Rural Fire Service are reporting that conditions in the area of Jennings have eased across the fireground overnight, however are expected to deteriorate across today.

Advice
There are a number of isolated properties along Mount Lindesay Road and to the west of the Bruxner Highway which may come under threat today.

If you are in the area, monitor conditions and ensure you know what you will do if the fire reaches your property or location.

If your plan is to leave, or you are not prepared, leave early.

 

UPDATE 12.14pm: THE fire situation has been upgraded to Emergency Warning and people in the Ogilvie Dr area are being told to leave.

RFS said there is an increase in fire activity across the western edge of the fire.

Strengthening winds has pushed the fire across Timbarra River, in the direction of Ogilvie Drive.

Crews are working to protect properties in the area. Firefighters will be supported by waterboming aircraft today.

The eastern edge of the fire, south of Tabulam, remains quiet due to a successful backburn overnight.

There are reports of structural loss in the area. Building Impact Assessment teams will be on the fire ground today to assess losses.

Advice

If you are in the Ogilvie Drive area and your path is clear and you're not prepared, leave now to the south along Plains Station Road.

If you are in the area of Old Bruxner Road and Paddys Flat Road put your Bush Fire Survival Plan into action. If you do not have a Bush Fire Survival Plan, know what you will do if the fire threatens your property.

If you are in the area of Tabulam, continue to monitor the situation. Ensure you know what you will do if the situation changes.

Bruxner Highway is closed between Tambulam Road and Bruxner Road.

A number of schools are closed including Tabulam Public School and Drake Public School.

UPDATE 11.05am: The Bruxner Hwy between Tabulam Rd and Bruxner Rd has reopened however there are traffic controllers on site to direct motorists.

Live Traffic advises of a reduced speed limit of 40km/h in place.

Smoke in the area may affect visibility, motorists should exercise caution and drive to the conditions.

UPDATE WEDNESDAY 11am: THE bush fire burning near the Bruxner Hwy, west of Tabulam which has destroyed five homes has been downgraded to a Watch and Act.

The fire has burnt more than 3900 hectares since it started around midday yesterday.

RFS said weather conditions eased overnight however they are expected to deteriorate across the day.

Firefighters have taken advantage of favourable weather conditions overnight to conduct a backburn on the southern edge of the fire.

The fire continues to move behind homes along Old Bruxner Road and Paddys Flat Road. Firefighters are in the area and they will be supported by waterboming aircraft today.

The fire is also burning in a southerly direction south of Tabulam in bushland along the Clarence River.

There are reports of structural loss in the area. Building Impact Assessment teams will be on the fire ground today to assess losses.

Advice

If you are in the area of Tabulam, continue to monitor the situation. Ensure you know what you will do if the situation changes.

If you are in the area of Old Bruxner Road and Paddys Flat Road, be alert to smoke and embers.

Bruxner Highway is closed between Clarence Way and Bruxner Road.

A number of schools will be closed on Wednesday including Tabulam Public School and Drake Public School.

Put your Bush Fire Survival Plan into action. If you do not have a Bush Fire Survival Plan, know what you will do if the fire threatens your property.

Other Information

If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.
Continue to stay up to date with the bush fire situation by checking http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, listening to your local radio station or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.
If you live in the area but are away from home, it may not be safe to return to your property.
For information on road closures, check http://livetraffic.rta.nsw.gov.au. Roads may be closed without warning.

TUESDAY

UPDATE 8.55pm: NSW RFS report the bush fire burning near the Bruxner Highway, west of Tabulam is not under control and is spreading.

They said under strong and gusty winds the fire has burnt in a south-easterly direction and has impacted areas to the south of the Tabulam township and the Clarence River.

Smoke cloaks the town of Tabulam.
Smoke cloaks the town of Tabulam. Jo Baxter

The RFS said the fire is burning on multiple fronts - the fire is spreading in a northerly direction towards Old Bruxner Road and Paddys Flat Road, and is also burning in a southerly direction south of Tabulam in bushland along the Clarence River.

They said isolated properties may come under threat tonight.

Advice

If you are in the area of Tabulam, continue to monitor the situation. Ensure you know what you will do if the situation changes.

If you are in the area of Old Bruxner Road and Paddys Flat Road, be alert to smoke and embers. The fire is expected to continue spreading in this area tonight.

Bruxner Highway is closed between Clarence Way and Bruxner Road.

Put your Bush Fire Survival Plan into action. If you do not have a Bush Fire Survival Plan, know what you will do if the fire threatens your property.

Other Information

If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Continue to stay up to date with the bush fire situation by checking http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au and this website listening to your local radio station or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.

If you live in the area but are away from home, it may not be safe to return to your property.

For information on road closures, check http://livetraffic.rta.nsw.gov.au.

Roads may be closed without warning.

 

UPDATE 8pm: CHIEF Inspector Nicole Bruce said three houses, some outbuildings and several vehicles had been destroyed by fire but fortunately no lives lost or people injured.

Insp Bruce said two evacuation centres were set up, one at Tabulam and one at Mallanganee.

"We have about 200 displaced people at the moment," she said.

"The fire appeared to have started at a house on the Bruxner Hwy at 2pm and got out of control."

Rural Fire Service group officer south, John Arthur said sheds had been lost and Tabulam racecourse damaged in the fires which swept through the area this afternoon.

Mr Arthur thanked all the employers who released workers to attend the fires today.

"The RFS also appreciates all the small business owners who also dropped everything to help fight the fires"

He said crews would patrol containment lines during the evening.

"Tomorrow is predicted to be another hot and windy day, worse than today"

 

 

 

UPDATE 7.42pm: TENTERFIELD Mayor Peter Petty has told ABC Radio homes may have been lost to fire this afternoon.

He said there had been "sketchy reports coming in that some houses had been lost, but it seemed like residents had evacuated early.

RFS spokesman Greg Allan told the ABC: "We cant confirm how many structures, or what type of structures... but we have had some unconfirmed reports that unfortunately there may have been some structures lost in that area..

"It really has been the worst day of the fire season for 2018-19."

 

UPDATE 6.20pm: BERNIE Delaney has posted a video of the fire approaching his neighbour's home at Dingo's Run, Tabulam.

He said: "All the grass and trees around my place has been burnt out".

In a terrifying update he said: "Fire is all around us now."

He sent in images of water bombers saving homes and the aftermath at his property, which while burnt out, still had sheds and watertanks standing.

Our best wishes go out to Mr Delaney and all the residents of Tabulam.

Almost 1500 ha have burnt in the fire.

 

UPDATE 6.13pm: THE bush fire burning near the Bruxner Highway, west of Tabulam remains out of control and is spreading.

NSW RFS is reporting, under strong and gusty winds the fire has burnt in a south-easterly direction and has impacted areas to the south of the Tabulam township and the Clarence River.

There are unconfirmed reports of damage to structures in this area.

The fire is now spreading in a northerly direction, towards Old Bruxner Road and Paddys Flat Road. Isolated properties may come under threat tonight.

 

UPDATE 5.58pm: CURRENT situation: Under strong and gusty winds the fire has burnt in a south-easterly direction and has impacted areas to the south of the Tabulam township and the Clarence River.

Firefighters and aircraft have been unable to slow the spread of the fire. Crews are working to protect properties.

There are unconfirmed reports of damage to structures.

Advice

People in the area of Tabulam should seek shelter if the fire impacts. Protect yourself from the heat of the fire.

Bruxner Highway is closed between Clarence Way and Bruxner Road.

Put your Bush Fire Survival Plan into action. If you do not have a Bush Fire Survival Plan, know what you will do if the fire threatens your property.

Emergency Alert telephone warnings have been sent to telephones in the area.

 

UPDATE 5pm: FIREFIGHTERS have been unable to slow a fire threatening properties in Tabulam.

A Tabulam resident, Gail Sj Ricky Collins , sent us this video of a fire burning near the Jubullum Aboriginal settlement.

Under strong and gusty winds, the fire - on the Bruxner Hwy - has impacted areas to the south of Tabulam and the Clarence River.

Fire crews and aircraft have been working to contain the fire and protect properties.

The NSW Rural Fire Service has warned people in the area of the Jubullum Aboriginal settlement should seek shelter if the fire impacts.

The Bruxner Hwy is closed between Clarence Way and Bruxner Rd.

  • If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.
  • Continue to stay up to date with the bush fire situation by checking http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, listening to your local radio station or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.
  • If you live in the area but are away from home, it may not be safe to return to your property.

UPDATE 4.36pm: PRELIMINARY evacuations are underway at Tabulam as a fire continues to burn near the town.

Richmond Police District Chief Inspector Susie Johnston said a briefing was being held at the moment.

"They're just some preliminary evacuations at the moment," she said. 

"At the moment I think it's just Tabulam village."

She said it was unclear how many residents were being evacuated.

A Fire and Rescue NSW spokeswoman confirmed at least one of their crews had also been tasked to the fire.

"There is a property on fire reported," she said.

The spokeswoman said Fire and Rescue crews from Ballina, Casino, Brunswick Heads and Grafton had been tasked to the fire.

More details to come.

 

UPDATE 4.18pm: A BUSH fire is burning near the Bruxner Highway, west of Tabulam. The fire is not under control and is spreading.

People in the area of the Jubullum Aboriginal settlement should seek shelter if the fire impacts. Protect yourself from the heat of the fire.

Bruxner Highway is closed between Clarence Way and Bruxner Road.

 

UPDATE 3.32pm: A FIRE burning along the Bruxner Highway is spreading towards the Jubullum Aboriginal settlement.

The fire has been upgraded to Emergency Warning status by the NSW Rural Fire Service.

The fire is currently burning about four kilometres west of Tabulam.

It is burning on both sides of the highway and may impact the Jubbulum settlement.

Under current conditions, the fire may also impact the Tabulam township this afternoon, the RFS said in a statement.

"People in the area of the Jubullum Aboriginal settlement should seek shelter if the fire impacts," the statement said.

"Protect yourself from the heat of the fire.

"Put your Bush Fire Survival Plan into action. If you do not have a Bush Fire Survival Plan, know what you will do if the fire threatens your property."

Emergency alert warnings are being sent to telephones in the area.

The Bruxner Highway is closed in both directions.

  • If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.
  • For updated information, see http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, listen to your local radio station or call the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.
  • If you live in the area but are away from home, it may not be safe to return to your property.

ORIGINAL STORY: A FIRE in Northern NSW has been upgraded to Emergency Warning status.

According to the NSW Rural Fire Service, a fire burning on the Bruxner Highway between Tabulam and Drake is currently out of control.

It's understood the fire has so far burnt through 10 hectares and that the highway is closed in both directions at the scene.

People are urged to avoid the area.

More details to come.


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