Conditions ease, but fires still burn across the state

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12PM, TUESDAY: The NSW Rural Fire Service has has completed an initial assessment of areas affected by bush fires at the weekend.

 At this stage, a total of 32 homes have been confirmed destroyed, with five others damaged.

 The following locations have been assessed:

Sir Ivan Fire (Warrumbungle) – 60 percent of area assessed

  • 23 homes destroyed (including five at Uarbry)
  • 2 home damaged
  • 1 church destroyed
  • 52 outbuildings destroyed

Pappinbarra (Port Macquarie-Hastings LGA) - complete

  • 6 homes destroyed
  • 3 house damaged
  • 11 outbuildings destroyed

Spring Hill Road Dondingalong Fire (Kempsey LGA) - complete

  • 2 houses destroyed (one habitable)
  • 7 outbuildings destroyed

Binalong Road, Boggabri (Narrabri LGA) – complete

  • 1 house destroyed
  • 2 outbuildings destroyed

White Cedars Road (Mid Western) – 60 percent of area assessed

  • 4 outbuildings destroyed

Sir Ivan Fire

The fire is currently burning to the east of Dunedoo moving in a north easterly direction.

Throughout the night crews undertook a direct attack on the fire where possible and continued to build and strengthen containment lines.

With conditions easing today crews will continue to work on containing the fire with the assistance of heavy plant and water bombing aircraft, before temperatures begin to warm up over the next few days.

Emergency services and support agencies will continue assessing areas throughout the morning in an effort to re-open affected areas to residents.

People in the areas of Cassilis, and Coolah and in the vicinity of Warrumbungles Way should continue to monitor the situation closely and be prepared to implement their bush fire survival plan.

Follow the directions of firefighters in the area.

Telecommunications may be disrupted in the area due to power outages.

The Golden Highway remains closed between Dunedoo, Denman and the Hunter Expressway at Singleton. Other local roads may be closed at short notice.

Barnards, Giro (Gloucester LGA)

A number of fires burning in the vicinity of Thunderbolts Way and Barnards, Giro have merged and are now moving in a north easterly direction.

Crews will undertake back burning operations on the eastern side of the Thunderbolts Way fire throughout the day.

Residents in the vicinity of Thunderbolts Way and Barnards, Giro should continue to monitor the situation and follow directions of firefighters in the area.

Due to the risk of fire and falling trees, Thunderbolts Way is likely to remain closed for several days between Scone Road at Gloucester in the South, to Nowendoc Village in the North. Authorities will continue to assess the area.

White Cedars Rd, Kains Flat 

The bush fire is burning in an easterly direction near White Cedars Road, Kains Flat, north east of Mudgee. The fire is being controlled.

Overnight, crews worked in difficult terrain to undertake back burning in order to strengthen containment lines. Where possible, crews in the area of Upper Cumbo Road directly attacked the fire, with the support of heavy plant.

Firefighter’s will continue to take advantage of favourable conditions throughout the day and construct and strengthen additional containment lines on the western, south western and south eastern sides of the fire.

Expect to see an increase in smoke throughout the day, caused by back burning operations near White Cedars Road.

There is no is immediate threat to properties, but residents should keep monitoring the situation.

The Wollar Road and the Ulan railway line are currently closed.

Local roads have been re-opened to resident only. Please note that these roads may be closed at short notice due to firefighting operations.

Pappinbarra Rd, Lower Pappinbarra

Two fires are burning to the west of Wauchope in the vicinity of Pappinbarra Road, Beechwood. Favourable conditions have assisted firefighters who are bringing the fire under control.

Although conditions have eased, there are still pockets of fire burning within identified containment lines.

Residents in the vicinity of Pappinbarra Road in Hollisdale, Lower Pappinbarra and Beechwood should monitor the conditions and follow directions of fire fighters on the ground.

Roads may be closed at short notice.

The NSW RFS said this would be the final web update on this fire.

MONDAY, 4:30PM: 

The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) has confirmed 19 homes have been destroyed with two other damaged in the weekend’s fires.

The NSW RFS said a large number of outbuildings such as sheds have also been destroyed or damaged.

12 homes were destroyed (including five at Uarbry) in the Sir Ivan Fire, also destroyed was a church and 15 outbuildings, and another home was damaged.

In the Pappinbarra (Port Macquarie-Hastings LGA) fire four homes were destroyed and four outbuldings, while one house was damaged.

Two homes were destroyed in the Spring Hill Road Dondingalong Fire (Kempsey LGA), while seven outbuildings were destroyed. 

While one house and two outbuildings were destroyed in the Binalong Road, Boggabri (Narrabri LGA) fire.

The assessment of the Sir Ivan fire and Binalong Road fires is continuing. The number of properties destroyed or damaged at these locations may change.

The assessment of the White Cedars Road, Kains Flat fire (Mudgee) has not yet commenced due to the current fire conditions.

Sir Ivan Fire

The Sir Ivan fire is currently burning to the east of Dunedoo moving in a northerly direction.

There is increased fire activity on the eastern and north eastern side of the fire.

Residents north west of the Warrumbungle Way between Rotherwood Road and Coolah Creek Road, if your plan is to leave you should leave NOW in a northerly direction towards Colah.

People in the areas of Leadville, Uarbry, Turill, Cassilis and Coolah should monitor the situation closely and be prepared to implement their bush fire survival plan.

Follow the directions of firefighters in the area.

Telecommunications may be disrupted in the area due to power outages.

The Golden Highway remains closed between Dunedoo, Merriwa, Denman and the Hunter Expressway at Singleton. Other local roads may be closed at short notice.

An evacuation centre is open at Club Mudgee, Mudgee.

The Mudgee Showground has also been opened to cater for people with animals.

Kains Flat

A bush fire is burning near White Cedars Rd, Kains Flat, north east of Mudgee. The fire is currently out of control and is moving in an easterly direction.

Fire fighters, supported by water bombing aircraft and heavy plant, are focused on strengthening containment lines to the north east of the fire near Wollar Village.

Further containment lines are being established on the northern and western flanks.

Fire activity is expected to increase throughout the afternoon, said the NSW RFS.

No immediate threat to properties, but residents should monitor the situation and be prepared to implement your bush fire survival plan.

If it is your plan to leave, or if you are not prepared to stay, people in the area around Wollar and Cumbo, including Mogo Road and Araluen Lane, should leave towards Bylong.

The Wollar Road and the Ulan railway line are currently closed. Other local roads may be closed at short notice.

Pappinbarra Rd, Lower Pappinbarra

Two fires are burning to the west of Wauchope in the vicinity of Pappinbarra Rd, Beechwood. Conditions eased overnight allowing firefighters to begin working on containment strategies.

Conditions are continuing to ease today, with increased humidity and decreased winds, which is expected to give crews the upper hand.

Although conditions have eased, residents in the vicinity of Pappinbarra Rd in Hollisdale, Lower Pappinbarra and Beechwood should monitor the conditions and follow directions of fire fighters on the ground.

Roads may be closed at short notice.

Barnards, Giro

Elsewhere, a large bush fire is burning in the vicinity of Thunderbolts Way, Giro to the north of Gloucester. 

The fire is more than 9000 hectares in size as the result of a number of fires in the area merging.

It is moving in a north easterly direction.

Although conditions are easing across the fire ground, residents in the area should continue to monitor the situation, particularity those in the vicinity of Thunderbolts Way and Barnards, Giro.

Thunderbolts Way is closed between Scone Rd at Gloucester in the South to Nowendoc Village in the North. It is likely to remain closed for the duration of today.

Binalong Rd, Boggabri

A grass fire is burning south of Boggabri in the vicinity of Binalong Rd. The fire has burned approximately 1200 hectares and is now contained.

While contained, it continues to burn to the south of Boggabri in the vicinity of Binalong Rd.

The fire crossed the Kamilaroy Highway and the Namoi River on Sunday afternoon.

Expect to see smoke in the area as the fire continues to burn within the identified containment lines.

7AM:  

The immediate threat to property from bushfires raging in central western NSW has been downgraded following cooler and calmer conditions overnight, but firefighters have warned the danger period is not yet over.

82 fires still remain active across the state this morning with 23 of those still to be contained.

Dozens of properties are believed to have been damaged yesterday, but it is not yet known how many were destroyed, when almost 100 fires burned across NSW in what the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) classified as "catastrophic conditions".

A total fire ban is in force for the North Western region due to hot and windy conditions. While fire danger ratings for much of the state have been downgraded overnight due to easing conditions.

However, the Central Ranges, ACT, Upper Central West Plains, North Western, Northern Slopes and Lower Central West Plains all remain on the Very High alert level.

The Sir Ivan Fire (Warrumbungle local government area) is currently burning to the east of Dunedoo moving in a northerly direction towards Black Stump Way, Leadville and Coolah.

Although conditions are easing, the NSW RFS warns people in the area should remain vigilant and prepared to implement their bush fire survival plan.

Building Impact Assessment Teams will inspect the area later today to report on any loss or damage to property and livestock.

People in the areas of Leadville, Turill, Cassilis and Coolah should remain vigilant and prepared to implement their bush fire survival plan.

Telecommunications may be distrupted in the area due to power outages.

The Golden Highway remains closed between Dunedoo, Merriwa, Denham and the Hunter Expressway at Singleton. Other local roads may be closed at short notice.

Evacuation Centres have been opened at Merriwa RSL, Merriwa and Club Mudgee, Mudgee.

The Mudgee Showground has also been opened to cater for people with animals.

Elsewhere, a bush fire is burning near White Cedars Rd, Kains Flat, north east of Mudgee. The fire is currently out of control and is moving in an easterly direction.

Conditions in the area have eased throughout the evening diminishing the level of fire activity.

Firefighters are actively defending properties under threat.

A fire is burning in the area of Ballengara Road, Pipers Creek Road, Spring Hill Road and Rainbows End Road, Dondingalong, 10km south of Kempsey.

Winds have eased in the area and fire activity has slowed. Firefighters will continue to monitor and strengthen containment lines.

Residents in the vicinity of Ballengara Road, Pipers Creek Road, Cockatoo Lane and Myers Lane should remain vigilant.

There are a number of fires burning in the Mid Coast area, including on Mount Pleasant Road, Wherrol Flat.

Easing conditions overnight including some light rain over the fireground, however not enough to extinguish the fire. Firefighters continue to work on containment.

Two fires are burning to the west of Wauchope in the vicinity of Pappinbarra Rd, Beechwood moving in a northerly direction parallel with Pappinbarra Rd towards Beechwood.

A southerly change has impacted the area and the fire is now burning north towards Bellangry Rd.

Conditions are easing this morning, with increased humidity and decreased winds in the area.

A fire is burning south of Boggabri in the vicinity of Binalong Rd. An easterly wind change has pushed the fire west towards Cox's Creek and Grain Valley Road.

The fire has crossed the Kamilaroy Highway and the Namoi River.

The fire has now been contained by firefighters.

YESTERDAY:

The NSW Rural Fire Service has been grappling with five major fires across the state this afternoon, with only one so far being dropped back to a watch and act status – that being the Binalong Rd fire at Boggabri.

The other four include the Sir Ivan Fire near Leadville, The Pappinbarra Rd fire near Wauchope, the White Cedars Rd fire at Kains Flat, north-east of Mudgee, and the Spring Hill Rd, Dondingalong near Kempsey.

Update Pappinbarra Rd fire near Wauchope, 7:11pm: Two fires are burning in the vicinity of Pappinbarra Rd, Beechwood to the west of Wauchope. The fires are spreading quickly in a south-easterly direction, parallel with Pappinbarra Rd towards Beechwood. They are spreading quickly under worsening conditions.

A southerly change is expected to impact the area of the fire which will change the direction of the fire path to the north towards Bellangry Rd. Firefighters supported by water bombing aircraft are protecting a number of isolated rural properties in the area that are being impacted by the fire.

Residents in the vicinity of Pappinbarra Rd in Hollisdale, Lower Pappinbarra and Beechwood are advised to SEEK SHELTER as the fire front arrives. Protect yourself from the heat of the fire.

An emergency alert telephone warning has been sent to residents in the areas of Hollisdale, Lower Pappinbarra and Beechwood.

Roads may be closed at short notice.

Binalong Rd fire, Boggabri update 7:02pm: the situation has been brought under control at Boggabri and is now a watch and act scenario for the grass fire burning south of Boggabri. An easterly wind change is now pushing the fire west towards Cox's Creek and Grain Valley Road.

People in the area should take advice from firefighters on the ground.

Update Sir Ivan Fire near Leadville 6:53pm: The fire is currently burning to the east of Dunedoo moving in a northerly direction towards Black Stump Way, Leadville and Coolah. Weather conditions on the ground are highly unstable, resulting in erratic fire behaviour.

Under these conditions, the fire will spread quickly. It will be difficult for firefighters to contain the fire.

Advice: People in the area to the north-west of Black Stump Way, Leadville should LEAVE NOW towards Dunedoo or Mendooran if the path is clear.

People in the areas of Uarby, Turill and Cassilis should SEEK SHELTER as the fire front approaches.

People to the east of Cassilis should LEAVE NOW towards Merriwa if the path is clear.

Emergency alert telephone messages are being sent to people in the area.

The Golden Highway is closed between Dunedoo, Merriwa, Denham and the Hunter Expressway at Singleton. Other local roads may be closed at short notice today.

Evacuation Centres have been opened at Merriwa RSL, Merriwa and Club Mudgee, Mudgee.

The Mudgee Showground has also been opened to cater for people with animals.

Update Kains Flat fire near Mudgee, 6:32pm: This fire remains out of control.

Update Spring Hill Rd fire near Kempsey, 6:17pm:  Properties are under direct threat. People in the area need to move towards the east towards the Pacific Highway.

Kains Flat fire update 4.49pm: Still out of control and moving in an easterly direction. If it is your plan to leave, or if you are not prepared to stay, people in the area around Wollar and Cumbo should leave now towards Bylong.

Pappinbarra Rd fire near Wauchope update 4.30pm: Firefighters supported by water bombing aircraft are protecting a number of isolated rural properties in the area that are being impacted by the fire.

Update 4.20pm: A fifth major fire has broken out. An emergency warning is in place for the Spring Hill Rd, Dondingalong area, south of Kempsey due to a bush fire. The fire is out of control.

Current Situation A bush fire is burning in the area of Spring Hill Road and Rainbows End Road, Dondingalong, 10km south of Kempsey. Properties are under direct threat.

People in the area need to seek shelter as the fire front arrives. It is too late to leave.

The fire is burning in Severe fire danger conditions. Under these conditions, fires are uncontrollable, unpredictable and fast-moving.

Advice People in the area need to seek shelter as the fire front arrives. It is too late to leave.

Sir Ivan Rd Fire, Leadville update 4.30pm:  The fire is currently burning in an easterly direction towards Cassilis. A predicted southerly wind change will also see the fire move in a north-easterly direction towards Leadville.

The fire has breached containment lines and is burning in Catastrophic fire conditions. Smoke will push towards Coolah after the southerly change passes through the fire ground.

EMERGENCY ROAD CLOSURES

The Mid-Western regional council advises the following road closures are in place due to emergency evacuations.

Kains Flat Road - at Wollar Road

Ulan Road - at the intersection of Ulan and Cope Roads

There are no diversions in place at either spot as the closures are due to evacuations for current fires.

EVACUATION CENTRES

Club Mudgee is available for those seeking an evacuation location. 

Mudgee Showground is available for those with animals (self sufficient).

Update 3.37pm Pappinbarra Rd fire near Wauchope: An emergency telephone warning has been issued to residents in the in the areas of Hollisdale, Lower Pappinbarra and Beechwood. Two fires are burning in the vicinity of Pappinbarra Rd, Beechwood to the west of Wauchope. The fires are spreading quickly in a South Easterly direction.

The fires are spreading quickly under worsening conditions and are impacting a number of isolated rural properties in the area.

Residents in the vicinity of Pappinbarra Rd in Hollisdale, Lower Pappinbarra and Beechwood are advised to SEEK SHELTER as the fire front arrives. Protect yourself from the heat of the fire.

Kains Flat fire 3.37pm: A bush fire is burning near White Cedars Rd, Kains Flat, north east of Mudgee. The fire is currently out of control.

Current Situation: the fire is burning near White Cedars Rd, Kains Flat, north east of Mudgee and is currently out of control and moving quickly in an easterly direction.

The RFS says people in the area should seek shelter now. It is too late to leave.

Boggabri fire 3.35pm: An emergency warning is in place for a grass fire burning south of Boggabri in the vicinity of Binalong Rd. The fire is moving quickly in an easterly direction.

Current Situation: An emergency warning is in place for a grass fire burning south of Boggabri in the vicinity of Binalong Rd. The fire is moving quickly in an easterly direction. The fire has crossed the Kamilaroy Highway and the Namoi River.

People in the area should TAKE SHELTER as the fire front approaches and protect yourself from the heat of the fire. It is too late to leave.

Leadville fire update as of 3.20pm: The fire to the east of Dunedoo, north of the Golden Highway is moving in an easterly direction towards Cassilis. The fire has breached containment lines.

People in the area of Uarby, Turill and Cassilis should SEEK SHELTER as the fire front approaches. It is too late to leave.

People to the east of Cassilis should leave now towards Merriwa if the path is clear.

People to the north of Ulan should move south towards Mudgee if the path is clear.

The Golden Highway is closed between Dunedoo, Merriwa, Denham and the Hunter Expressway at Singleton. Other local roads may be closed at short notice today.

Wauchope: As of 2.42pm two fires have been burning in the vicinity of Pappinbarra Rd, Beechwood to the west of Wauchope. The fires are spreading quickly in a South Easterly direction.

Current Situation: Two fires are burning to the west of Wauchope in the vicinity of Pappinbarra Rd, Beechwood moving in an South Easterly direction towards Beechwood. The fire is spreading quickly under worsening conditions.

The fires are impacting a number of isolated rural properties in the area.

Residents in the vicinity of Pappinbarra Rd in Hollisdale, Lower Pappinbarra and Beechwood are advised to SEEK SHELTER as the fire front arrives. Protect yourself from the heat of the fire.

An emergency alert telephone warning has been sent to residents in the areas of Hollisdale, Lower Pappinbarra and Beechwood.

The fire is burning under EXTREME fire danger conditions. Under these conditions fires may spread quickly, cut roads and threaten properties. Roads may be closed at short notice.

Leadville: RFS updated warning as of 2.49pm 

Current Situation: The fire is burning in an easterly direction towards Cassilis. The fire has breached containment lines.

Advice: People in the area of Uarby, Turill and Cassilis should SEEK SHELTER as the fire front approaches. It is too late to leave.

People to the east of Cassilis should leave now towards Merriwa if the path is clear.

People to the north of Ulan should move south towards Mudgee if the path is clear.

Emergency alert telephone messages are being sent to people in the area.

The fire is burning in catastrophic fire conditions. In these conditions, the fire will spread quickly. It will be difficult for firefighters to contain the fire.

Homes are not designed to withstand fires in these conditions and may not offer safety.

Avoid bush fire prone areas, such as areas of thick bushland or open paddocks.

The Golden Highway has been closed due to smoke between Black Stump Way and Vinegaroy Road. It is expected to remain closed for the remainder of today. Other local roads may be closed at short notice today.

As of 1.37pm the Rural Fire Service warned an out of control fire was burning in an easterly direction towards Uarbry and Turill. The fire had breached containment lines.

Advice

People in the area of Uarbry and Turill should leave NOW towards Cassilis if the path is clear.

People north of Ulan should move south towards Mudgee if the path is clear.

Emergency alert telephone messages are being sent to people in the area.

The fire is burning in catastrophic fire conditions. In these conditions, the fire will spread quickly. It will be difficult for firefighters to contain the fire.

Homes are not designed to withstand fires in these conditions and may not offer safety.

Avoid bush fire prone areas, such as areas of thick bushland or open paddocks.

The Golden Highway has been closed due to smoke between Black Stump Way and Vinegaroy Road. It is expected to remain closed for the remainder of today. Other local roads may be closed at short notice today.

LEADVILLE: Residents of the towns of Uarbry and Turill, north of Mudgee in the state's central west, have been told to leave their homes now after a fire breached containment lines.

The Rural Fire Service issued the emergency warning just before midday, telling residents to head towards the town of Cassilis. The RFS said there are unconfirmed reports of a house lost in the fire.

Emergency alert telephone messages are being sent to people in the area.

The Golden Highway has been closed due to smoke and is expected to remain closed for the remainder of today.

Soaring temperatures across much of the state have led to warnings of catastrophic fire conditions. In Walgett, the temperature has hit 46 degrees.

If you need a Safe Place due to evacuation – full details available from the NSW RFS site: http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/neighbourhood-safer-places

These are the Safe Places for the Warrumbungle LGA Neighbourhood

Current power outages – see image. It's believed a tree has hit a power line in Gulgong causing the black out.

As NSW faces the "worst possible fire conditions" in its history with 'extreme' and catastrophic' warnings in place across large slabs of the state, RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the situation was as "bad as it gets" and warned it was set to get worse on Sunday when winds are expected to sweep through scorched parts of mid to northern NSW. 

"To put it simply [the conditions] are off the old scale," he said. "It is without precedent in NSW". 

As of 11am, the RFS reported 76 bush and grass fires across NSW with 26 not yet contained. Deputy Commission Rob Rogers told ABC news:  "It's going to be a really tough day." 

Major Fire Updates

Emergency Warning - Sir Ivan Fire (Warrumbungle LGA)

Posted: 2017-02-12 13:37

An emergency warning is in place for a bush fire to the east of Dunedoo, north of the Golden Highway. The fire is moving in an Easterly direction towards Uarbry and Turill.

Current Situation

The fire is burning in an easterly direction towards Uarbry and Turill. The fire has breached containment lines.

Advice

People in the area of Uarbry and Turill should leave NOW towards Cassilis if the path is clear.

People north of Ulan should move south towards Mudgee if the path is clear.

Emergency alert telephone messages are being sent to people in the area.

The fire is burning in catastrophic fire conditions. In these conditions, the fire will spread quickly. It will be difficult for firefighters to contain the fire.

Homes are not designed to withstand fires in these conditions and may not offer safety.

Avoid bush fire prone areas, such as areas of thick bushland or open paddocks.

The Golden Highway has been closed due to smoke between Black Stump Way and Vinegaroy Road. It is expected to remain closed for the remainder of today. Other local roads may be closed at short notice today.

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 12/02/2017 14:36 or if the situation changes.

- with Sydney Morning Herald.