Australia NSW

MediaRelease and Situation Report

NSWRural Fire Service

1. Media Release:

Fires cannot be lit in the open without a permit from October 1, the officialstart of the NSW Bush Fire Danger Period, Minister for Emergency Services TonyKelly said today.
“Those who need a fire permit from October 1 should contact their local NSWRural Fire Service (RFS) Fire Control Centre, Rural Fire Brigade or NSW FireBrigade,” he said.

“Fines and jail terms can apply to people who light fires without permitsor on days of total fire bans.

“Call RFS Fire Control Centre staff all year round for advice, not just onfire permits, but also how to manage bushfire hazards,” Mr Kelly said.

“RFS staff can give you advice to help prevent burn-offs from getting outof control and causing major bushfires.

“There are more than 60 fires currently affecting northern NSW, themajority of which are private property burn-offs that got out of control inwindy conditions.

“We don’t want this to happen in your area, so call your RFS Fire ControlCentre for advice.

“Throughout the whole year, RFS staff provide a range of hazard reductionadvice.

“Talk to RFS staff if you are concerned about a bushfire hazard, aboutprotecting your property by creating asset protection zones and the best way toreduce bushfire fuels – such as slashing, trittering, ploughing or controlledburns – and whether you need environmental approval for this.

“ RFS Fire Control Centres can help private landowners in bushfire prone areasto apply for environmental approval sometimes required for hazard reduction workand fast-track the processing time. Simply ask about a Bush Fire HazardReduction Certificate.

“The RFS provides free hazard reduction environmental assessment andcertificate issuing services across NSW, apart from Newcastle, Blue Mountains,Ku-Ring-Gai and some Sydney council areas. Local councils in these areas offerthese services.

“The message is, contact your RFS Fire Control Centre at all times. The RFS isnot only responsible for putting fires out, but also has a fire mitigation roleand offers a range of hazard reduction advice outside the Bush Fire DangerPeriod.” NOTES: The Bush Fire Danger Period was declared early for 20 NSW localgovernment areas because of dry conditions.

Ballina (13 September)
Bega Valley (1 September)
Bellingen (1 September)
Bryon (13 September)
Coffs Harbour (1 September)
Copmanhurst (7 September)
Eurobodalla (20 September)
Glenn Innes (1 September)
Grafton (7 September)
Hastings (13 September)
Inverell (1 September)
Kiama (Permits required all year)
Kyogle (13 September)
Lismore (13 September)
Maclean (7 September)
Pristine Waters (7 September)
Richmond Valley (13 September)
Severn (1 September)
Shellharbour (Permits required all year)
Shoalhaven (15 September)
Tenterfield (1 September)
Tweed (13 September)

The Bush Fire Danger Period has been pushed back to November 1 in the followingareas due to milder local conditions. Albury
Temora will declare on October 14
Wagga Wagga

Farmers conducting normal agricultural activities do not require environmentalapproval provided by a Bush Fire Hazard Reduction Certificate.

Farmers can continue burning stubble and diseased crops, pruning orchards andgrazing. Farmers may only require approval if undertaking hazard reduction work.

Media contact: (Ministers Office) Kirsten Andrews 0413 777 404


2. Situation Report 26 September 2003:

Over 600 firefighters from NSW Rural Fire Service, National Parks andWildlife Service, State Forests and NSW Fire Brigades are working on more than65 fires across NSW.

The vast majority of fires are contained and being patrolled.  Containmentwork continued today, particularly in the Northern Tablelands.

The main focus of activity today has been:

Cessnock –  on the Laguna complex where three fires are affecting theLaguna, Wollombi and Bucketty areas. A new fire at Watagan Ck Rd has added tothe complexity of the fire situation. Another new fire at Quorrobolong,southeast of Cessnock, is also being attended.

Wyong – Work continued at Mangrove Mountain with crews establishing containmentlines and backburning along asset perimeter and Tooheys Road to the east. Aerialwater bombing to support groud crews and slow fire fronts.
Northern Tablelands – containment work continued on the five fires of priority.These fires are burning in generally remote areas.

New fires were also attended at:

Penrith – Riverstone, Walker Pd. Crews contained a fire at 20ha.

Wollondilly – M5 Pheasant Nest, grass alight. Two tankers attended and containedthe fire.

Walcha – State Forest near the Oxley Highway. RFS assisting to help keep OxleyHwy open.

Blue Mountains – Katoomba look out at Skyway. RFS responded 6 appliances withassistance from NSW Fire Brigades and NPWS helicopter. Close Skyline Rd.

Weather conditions over the weekend will generally milder however very high firedangers are still expected.


Hawkesbury – Colo

The fire has been contained at 106ha. Containment lines include Putty Rd, MailesFire Trail and the Colo River.

Fire has been contained in all sectors. Some small outbreaks in foxtrot sectorin to Wheeny swamp.

20RFS personnel worked in the area. They will continue patrolling, mopping up.Fire started Thursday, 25/9. Control strategy is to contain the fire off PuttyRoad and east of Mailes fire trial and south of the Colo River.

Backburning conducted last night. Mop up and patrol Alpha and Foxtrot sectors.Putty Rd was closed for a short time last night for backburning.


Firefighters continue to work on a fire in Mangrove Mountain and around theSomersby Industrial Estate today. RFS volunteers are assisting NSW Fire Brigadeswith a new fire in Hillsborough, Lake Macquarie.


Central Mangrove -560ha is being controlled. A Section 44 “bushfire emergency”was declared on Thursday, 25/9. Fire started 24.9.03.

Burning between Central Mangrove and Jilliby Nature Reserve. More than 70firefighters and 6 helicopters are working on containment lines in the area.Crews are establishing containment lines and backburning along asset perimeterand Tooheys Road to the east. Helicopter waterbombing has been slowing theprogress of the head of the fire while ground crews and dozers work oncontainment lines. 

Aim is to contain the fire in the Ourimba Creek Valley, west of Prestons RidgeRoad by in order to protect assets to north and south and east of the fire

No current property problems but containment proving difficult in weatherconditions.


Gosford Interchange – Fire was declared out today. The blaze in bushland startedon the western side of the F3 yesterday near the Gosford interchange yesterday.

The fire encroached on the Somersby Industrial Estate and damaged the stockyardof a landscaping business.

The F3 was closed briefly. Backburning was conducted during the afternoon toprotect other industrial properties and the fire was being controlled.

 Lake Macquarie

Four RFS units are assisting NSW Fire Brigades with a fire crowning in tree topsin Hillsborough Rd, Hillsborough. The fire started today.


A new fire began at the Skyway Look Out – Katoomba while the Katoomba Tip fireremained contained.

The Look Out fire began at about 4.30pm and caused the Skyline Rd and Skywayfacility to close while RFS and NSW Fire Brigades crews attended with assistancefrom NPWS helicopter.Fire has dropped over the cliff face into the JamisonValley and is moving east.

Katoomba tip – contained. Fire started yesterday morning at 5am. RFS and NSWFire Brigades crews contained the fire in difficult conditions.

Cessnock, Maitland, Singleton

A Section 44 `bushfire emergency’ applies to the Cessnock and Maitland districtsto enable firefighters to coordinate resources on fires in the area.

The declaration was made on Thursday, 25/9. The three uncontained fires in theLaguna, Wollombi and Bucketty areas are in steep rought terrain with limitedaccess. The fires form one complex – 5km southeast of Laguna.

More than 100 firefighters are working in the area. Crews have already put instrategic backburning for some rural properties in area and are now attemptingcontainment. No real threat to property at this time. The Cullys Arm firepressured containment lines today and night crews will be working hard thisevening to continue containment work.

A new fire broke out in the Watagan Ck Rd area, near the Laguna complex, at11.30am. A task force of RFS units from Singleton and Fire Brigades units areattending to assist local resources with another 24 firefighters.

There were concerns for rural properties on Watagan Ck Rd as the fire moved on aridge behind houses. Containment work is proceeding well, the fire is at 200ha.

· Laguna Complex 1320ha (Noulanas Arm Fire, Cullys Arm Fire, Narome Ck Fire).
40 RFS and 8 State Forests firefighters are working on containment lines.

Noulanans Arm Fire – attempting direct attack while conditions are favourable. Some tactical buring where necessary. The fire is about 50ha and is contained tothe east by Noulans arm with containment lines to be established in the north,west and south.

Cullys Arm Fire – 300ha . Contained to the north east by firestry trail. Duringthe night fire has spotted southern containment line on Gilder Point Rd andsouth of Dairy Arm. Crews currently working with dozer preparing trails forburning other crews attempting direct attack with helicopter support whereappropriate and safe. Possible waterbomb to limit spread until safe to backburnfrom Goanna Trail to the south and Dairy Arm to the west.

Narome Creek Fire – 600ha is contained the east by a trail from Narone Ck toMilsons Arm. Northern containment line will be Narome Creek with southerncontainment line Milsons Arm. Properties being monitored but not under directthreat. Western containment to be established. Crews working on active edges asidentified by the aerial reconnaissance.  Some direct attack is possibledue to generally being sheltered from prevailing winds.

A new fire was also attended at Quorrobolong, southeast of Cessnock. Noproperties were under threat.

· Aragunum – 3ha contained by 24 RFS and NPWS firefighters.


· Little Time Creek Fire (Mt Royal) – 200ha. Is contained and being patrolled.No property threat at this stage. Fire started on private property on 23/9.

Mid North Coast

A Section 44 `bushfire emergency’ applies to the districts of Port Stephens,Great Lakes and Dungog.


· Viewmont Fire, Bollanolla Nature Reserve, 465ha, is being patrolled.Start onprivate property. Small fires continue to burn internally.


· Red Hill, Telegraph Point , 550ha. Start 13.9 on private property. RFS crewsare continuing to monitor and patrol the contained fire.

· Jaspers Peak, Birdwood, 1239ha. Start 11.9.03 on private property . At thistime the northwest flanks are being contained using natural lines. Monitor,patrol with helicopter and carry out property protection when and if required.No current threat to rural properties. Fire is in inaccessible area.

· Gingers Fire, Ralfes Peak. 20ha national park. Contained. Objective is tokeep this fire as small as possible and within existing control lines – firetrails at east and western, Oxley Hwy. Crews are mopping up and blacking outalong existing control lines.

· Cemetery Fire, Comboyne, is at 240ha. Start 12.9. Is being patrolled. At thistime there is no active visable fire. The fire is smouldering well withincontainment lines.

· Gallway Fire, Birdwood, 1000ha is being patrolled. Started 11.9 on privateproperty.  Fire was active on Cockerawombeeba and Boss Creeks yesterday

· Albert Fire (Yarras), 1ha. Going. Started 25/9. Fire burning in inaccessibleterrain.

· Coopers Fire (Yarras), going 91ha. The fire is burning in inaccessiblecountry. The property owner is establishing containment lines. The spread ofthis fire should be contained by utilising old hazard reduction burn and naturalcontainment lines.

· Tower Fire (Telegraph Point), 100ha, being controlled. Fire started onprivate property 24/9. Crews are working on containment lines. Potential but nocurrent threat to rural properties along Gum Scrup Rd and Bailys Rd.

Great Lakes

– Worths Fire, Cooloongoolok 170ha. – Crews working to contain fire est ofPossum Pie Rd, north of he Coolongolook River west of the Pacific Hwy and southof 4wd trail running east. Fire started on private property.

· Wallis Island – 600ha. Contained. Fire started  24/9 on Wallis Islandwith spotting to Flat and Cockatoo Islands. Major backburns were conducted onWallis Island.

· Ebsworth Rd Fire, 450ha, contained.
Start 22.9.03. No sign of active fire near the containment lines. Crews moppingup and blacking out.  Fire started on private property.

· Curreeki Ck Coolongolook, 10ha, contained. Fire remains inaccessible andwithin containment line and is being patrolled. No threats to assets. Aircraftwill be waterbombing today.


Massey Ck – 1385 going.


Bullen Bullen fire is in inaccessible terrain. Fire is self extinguished in theopen grazing lands due to lack of fuel.

Northern Tablelands – Tenterfield, Severn, Inverell

Of the 31 fires that have affected the area for the past two weeks, 15 have beendeclared out. Ten continue to be patrolled.

Only fires of concern are now Sandy Creek (east of Tenterfield) , Hewetts Peak(east southeast of Glen Innes), Oakwood Ck (east southeast Glen Innes), McMinmus(crossed the Queensland border) and the Malara fires.

Oaks and Sandy Creek fires now contained.

The Malara fire was first observed by air yesterday (25/9) and is in countryburnt last year.

Containment work continues on four (Sandy Ck, The Oaks, Hewitts Peak and OakwoodCreek) while the McMinimus Fire is going in inaccessible country.


· Sandy Creek (Bulldog Rock) east of Tenterfield, 936ha, private, NPWS, StateForest land. Is being controlled. 
· Started 12.9. Backburning partially completed. Aircraft waterbombing theeastern edge of the backburns and night crews will complete backburning thisevening. Fire is not currently threatening assets. The fire is burning in roughterrain.

· Oaks (Sandy Flat) southeast of Tenterfield, 5978ha, private and  StateForest land is being controlled. 
· Started 8/9 on private property.
Units are patrolling and mopping up backburn along trail from Petries Hut andwestern and southern containment lines.

· Hewitts Peak (Henry River) east southeast of Glen Innes, 3878ha beingcontrolled. Private and State Forest land.
Started 5.9 on Brothers State Forest. Backburning continuing using NPWS and RFScrews.

· Branch Gully (Paddys Flat) north northeast of Tenterfield, being patrolled,894ha private land. Monitor and patrol all containment lines. State Forest crewsare mopping up and patrolling to ensure the fire remains within containmentlines.

· Girrard, 1038ha of  State Forest and private property is contained andbeing patrolled. Started 9.9 on State Forest. No active fire observed for somedays. Brigades are patrolling. Air patrols.

· Glen Elgin, 10ha  private property. Fire was agressively mopped upyesterday by ground crews and is being patrolled today.

· Turkey Nest (Drake) 57ha start 22/9 State Forest, being patrolled.  Nocurrent threat posed. Fire is being monitored by air.

· Sugarbag, 455ha.  OUT. Started private property 10.9.

· Patemans, 280ha, is OUT. Start 10.9 on private property.

· Rivertree Fire (Paddys Flat) 294ha private property is being patrolled. Noactive fire observed but smoke well within perimeter.

· Poverty Point (Malara Ck), 1558ha. Is OUT. Start 10.9 on private property.

· Tooloom, 70ha, State Forest land is OUT. Start 10.9 on State Forest land.

· Eagle Creek, 80ha, private property is OUT.

· Rough Hill, 130ha, private property is OUT.

· Emu Creek (northeast of Tenterfield), 174ha, private property is OUT

· Pretty Gully (northeast of Tenterfield), 5ha, is OUT. Start private property13.9.

· Paddys Flat, 10ha, is OUT. Started 12.9 on private property.


· Bebo Fire (west northwest of Tenterfield), 601ha State Forest and private
Started lightning strike in State Forest on 13.9. No active fire observed forsome days. Patrols continue.


· Oakwood Creek (Henry River) east southeast of Glen Innes, 6875ha nationalpark, State Forest and private property is being controlled.
· Started 2.9 on private property. 

· Kangawalla Fire (Shannon Vale) east southeast of Glen Innes, 586ha, is beingpatrolled.Started 14.9 on private property is being patrolled by air.

· Capoompeta (south of Tenterfield), 5696ha private, State Forest, nationalpark land. Start private property 2.9.  Fire is being patrolled. No activefire for some days. Aerial patrol.

· Butterleaf Fire (northeast of Glen Innes), 1827ha, is being patrolled.Started 30.8. No active fire observed at perimeter  for some days .Helicopter reconnaissance continues.

Northern Rivers – Copmanhurst, Kyogle

Only fires of concern are Philips Creek and Clarks . These are contained and areonly slowly burning into containment lines. All other fires at patrol status.  

· Kyogle –  Clarks Fire (Larnook, Boorabee Rd), 467ha private land. Fireis contained and being patrolled by helicopter. Little current threat.Start7.9.03 on private property.

· Pristine Waters – Phillips Creek Fire, 4809ha, being patrolled on StateForest and private land.  Fire is contained on all sectors. Start 8.9 onState Forest.


· Mt Lardner (Whiporie) – 315ha of private and national park land. Start 12.9on private property.Contained and being patrolled by NPWS. Very low threat. Fireis fully within containment lines on western side of Coaldale Trail, south ofCoal Ridge Trail and east of Lankeys Ck Trail.

· Camira Complex (Clearfield) is contained and being patrolled.- (Camira and MtNeville Fires), 4448ha of private, national park and State Forest land. Start10/9 on private property.Very low threat.


· Swindlers Fire, Paddys Flat, 667ha of national park and is being patrolled. Started 13.9 on State Forest. Fire is contained and being patrolled by air.

· Ducat (Capeen), 337ha private and national park. Is being patrolled. Start14.9 on private property.There is little fire activity. Fire was going out onceit reached flat grass land areas.

· Mt Williams (Bonalbo), 161ha private land is being patrolled. Started 16.9 onprivate property.

· Palen Creek, 207ha is being patrolled. Started 15.9 in Border Ranges NationalPark. Fire is mostly surrounded by World Heritage listed rainforest. Low threat.

South Coast
Milder conditions today assisted firefighters particularly with easing winds..


A fire at Dunns Ck Rd Malua Bay was declared out. The 50ha fire had nine unitsworking in the area.


Wolumla Fire (Candello) –  contained at 210ha on private property. Possiblystarted by powerlines. Started 25/9.

Mimosa Rock National Park – Bermagui Rd. Fire is contained.


Bridge Ck (Kioloa) 460ha. Start 25/9. Being patrolled by State Forests. Directattack as it progresses to trail network on flanks.


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