Australia NSW


NSWRural Fire Service

29September 2003

1. Fire Update 27 September

Strong winds of up to 90km/h have hampered the efforts of fire crews acrossNSW today, with more than 1,000 RFS volunteer firefighters contending with over70 fires.


Two new fires today, one at Crescent Head around the Beranghi Road area and theother around Stumpy Creek.

The Pacific Highway was closed by Police for a short time due to the heavy smokethat affected the area.

The Stumpy Creek fire is running and has the potential to jump the mainnorth-south rail line. If this occurs, properties may come under threat aroundCrescent Head Road.

NORTHERN TABLELANDS – Tenterfield, Severn, Inverell

The Hewetts Peak fire (near Glenn Innes/Old Grafton Road) has broken containmentlines under 90kph southwesterly wind gusts forcing the evacuation of some of the80 residents from the multiple-occupancy community of Whytalaba. Crewssuccessfully defended 5 homes that were directly in the firepath. There are someindications of property loss, although it is unsure at this time as to whetherthese properties were used as homes. The fire was reported as spotting as muchas 3kms forward of the main fire front and has now entered the Nymboida Shire.

Central Mangrove – 560ha is being controlled. A Section 44 “bushfireemergency” 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 in order to protect assets to north and south and east of the fire.

No current property problems but containment proving difficult in weatherconditions with westerly winds of over 60km/h currently being experienced.

A helicopter has been tasked to flying the Yarramalong Valley to identify anybush shack residences as a precaution should the fire jump containment linesalong Forest Road and run into this area.

The fire burning at Crackneck is not considered to be of concern and has droppedover the edge of the escarpment to the cliff base bordering the sea. This firewill be flown by helicopter later today to ensure that any risk of the firerunning back around the edge of the cliff base under the expected southerly windis identified.


A new fire began Friday afternoon at Eaglehawk Lookout near the Scenic Skyway -Katoomba.

The fire began at about 4.30pm on Friday and caused Cliff Roadand Skywayfacility to close for about one hour while RFS and NSW Fire Brigades crewsattended with assistance from NPWS helicopter.Fire has dropped over the cliffface into the Jamison Valley and is moving east.

Overnight crews backburned along Cliff Drive (which remains closed). A bulkwater tanker is being used to spray water onto the valley floor from EagleHawkLookout to help suppress any fire activity.

The Skyway is open, as is the Scenic Railway, however Railway users are notpermitted to leave the immediate vicinity of the base stations with walkingtrails closed to all but fire services personnel.

Bizarrely, crews experienced light snow late morning Saturday.


A new fire at Ulladulla briefly threatened a caravan park on the southernheadland. 15 fire tankers were quickly on the scene and manage to avert anyproperty loss. Fire crews are continuing to attempt to contain the fire that isstill threatening the power supply to the lighthouse. Crews are being assistedby a mild southerly change that has occurred.


The NSW Rural Fire Service has been assisting the NSW Fire Brigades by providing5 tankers to work on two fires in the Newcastle area.

The fire at Belmont north is reported to have damaged one home and a cementfactory. Initial reports suggest the damage is minor.


Generally milder conditions are expected Sunday, with winds easing and aneasterly influence begin to take hold across the eastern half of the State. Highto Very High fire danger ratings continue over most of the State, so cautioncontinues to be urged – particularly in fire affected areas.


2. Fire Update 29 September 

Generally mild conditions assisted more than 600 firefighters to continuecontainment work on more than 75 fires in NSW.

No significant fire runs were experienced today, although winds did increasefire activity on the Mid North Coast. Weather conditions are expected to assistfirefighters in coming days.

NORTHERN RIVERS – Kyogle, Copmanhurst

One new fire in McKellar Range is contained and escapes from containment lineson the Phillips Creek, Wild Cattle Grass have been contained but will requiresignificant work.
All other fires are at patrol status.
Local RFS crews are working on the fires as well as assisting in Tenterfield.

· Clarks Fire (Larnook, Boorabee Rd), 467ha private land. Fire is contained andbeing patrolled by helicopter. Little current threat.Start 7.9.03 on privateproperty.
· 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.

· Mt Lardner (Whiporie) – OUT 315ha of private and national park land. Start12.9 on private property.
· Camira Complex (Clearfield) OUT. (Camira and Mt Neville Fires) 4448ha ofprivate, national park and State Forest land. Start 10/9 on privateproperty.Very low threat. .


A Section 44 `bushfire emergency’ applies to the Hastings, Nambucca and KempseyDistricts.
Kerwong fire still going while the Gallway Fire and Beechwood Fire are containedon three sides with work earthworks and back burning being undertaken today.
The Tower and Cemetry fires are contained within natural containment lines butrequire more work to bring to full containment status with the forecast winds.·
Stumpy Creek which caused concerns in south Kempsey at the weekend experiencedsignificant fire activity at midday, as did the Wallace Fire in Pappinburra, butwaterbombing aircraft assisted ground crews to keep the fires within containmentlines.
Victoria Valley has been brought under control by back burning a containmentline to the river. It is now being patrolled.
Dozer lines being established on Starlings Road Fire (Collombatti State Forest)a remote area fire. Kundabung fire contained by natural features and requiresmore work, with Viewmont at patrol status.

Winstead Fire (Kempsey) – 70ha is being controlled. Start 26/09/03. Concernsabout the fire traveling north into Maria State Forest and Maria National Parkand private property.
Stumpy Ck – 197ha is being patrolled. Started 27/9 suspicious. 47 RFS, NSW FireBrigades and State Forest firefighters.
Victoria Valley – 250ha is being patrolled. Start 27/09/03 .

· Viewmont Fire, Bollanolla Nature Reserve, 1046ha, is being patrolled.Start onprivate property. Small fires continue to burn internally.

Firefighters were able to make good progress with the 12 fires affecting theHastings district as weather assisted containment work.
In particular, good progress was made on the Red Hill, Towers and McIvers Fires.
Crews were also able to jump on a fire that started in Port Macquarie, near thecrematorium. No property is under threat and a bulldozer is grading containmentlines in the area.
Weather conditions should assist in coming days.
· Red Hill, Telegraph Point , 670ha being controlled. Start 13.9 on privateproperty. RFS crews are continuing to monitor and patrol the contained fire. *
· Jaspers Peak, Birdwood, 1239ha. Start 11.9.03 on private property is beingpatrolled. At this time the northwest flanks are being contained using naturallines. Monitor, patrol with helicopter and carry out property protection whenand if required. No current threat to rural properties. Fire is in inaccessiblearea.*
· Gingers Fire, Ralfes Peak. 30ha national park. OUT. *
· Cemetery Fire, Comboyne, is at 300ha. Start 12.9 on private property. Isbeing controlled. Monitor and patrol. Fire is smouldering well within lines. *
· Gallway Fire, Birdwood, 1200ha is being going. Started 11.9 on privateproperty. Fire has crossed Forkes Rd . Fire continuing to spread in an easterlyand northerly direction through regrowth forest.*
· Albert Fire (Yarras), 250ha. Contained. Started 25/9. *
· Coopers Fire (Yarras), going 522ha. 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), 180ha, being controlled. Fire started onprivate property 24/9. Crews are working on containment lines. Potential but nocurrent threat to rural properties along Gum Scrub Rd and Bailys Rd.*
· Saddle Trail – 950ha of national park land – fire is going. Started 23/09/03. 20 NPWS firefighters, three machines and aircraft are working on the controllines. Control lines are Kumbatine Brook Rd- Side Cut trail- Stockyard trail-Main Rangetrail. Two dozers and tractor continue to prepare fallback lines.Crews will monitor the fire that is spreading south within containment lines.Back burning western and southern flanks will be undertaken when and ifconditions allow. Spotover on western flank monitor by crews. Helicopter waterbucketing to support ground crews till night fall last night.*
· Porter Fire, 135ha, is going. Start 26/09/03. *
· McIvers Ridge Fire Upsalls Creek State Forest, being controlled, 70ha. Start26/09/03 on State Forest. *
· Beechwood West (Wauchope) 79ha. Fire is going. Start 26/09/03 on privateproperty.*

– Telleragree Fire, Cooloongoolok 550ha. – Being controlled. Fire withincontainment lines. Crews blacking out.Crews working to contain fire east ofPossum Pie Rd, north of he Coolongolook River west of the Pacific Hwy and southof 4wd trail running east. Fire started on private property 26/9*
. Lawlers Creek, going 20ha. Start 28/9.
· Wallis Island – 600ha. OUT. Fire started 24/9 .
· Ebsworth Rd Fire, 450ha, OUT. Start 22.9.03. Fire started on privateproperty.
· Curreeki Ck Coolongolook, 10ha, OUT.

Massey Ck – 1385. OUT

Bullen Bullen 450ha, is being controlled. Fire is in inaccessible terrain. Fireis self extinguished in the open grazing lands due to lack of fuel.


The fire in the Mangrove Mountain area has been contained.
Central Mangrove – 750ha is contained. A Section 44 “bushfire emergency” wasdeclared on Thursday, 25/9. Fire started 24.9.03. Backburn in D sectorcompleted. All other sectors remain secure. Main fire, and backburns, stillprogressing slowly towards Ourimbah Ck to the south and west. 27 firefightersand four helicopters from RFS and NPWS continue to contain fire in the OurimbahCreek valley, west of Tooheys Road in order to protect assets to the north,south and east of the fire area. A helicopter has been tasked to flying theYarramalong Valley to identify any bush shack residences as a precaution shouldthe fire jump containment lines along Forest Road and run into this area.
The fire burning at Crackneck 20ha has 34 RFS and NPWS firefighters working onit. The fire dropped over the edge of the escarpment to the cliff base borderingthe sea.
The Horace Point fire (10ha)is considered virtually out. Crews are patrolling toensure the fire remains within containment lines in order to protect propertiesin the Kangy Angy and Palmdale areas.

NORTHERN TABLELANDS – Tenterfield, Severn, Inverell

Fires of concern Sandy Creek (east of Tenterfield) , Hewetts Peak (eastsoutheast of Glen Innes), McMinmus (crossed the Queensland border) and theMalara fires.
The Hewetts Peak fire (near Glenn Innes/Old Grafton Road) broke containmentlines on Saturday under 90kph southwesterly wind gusts forcing the evacuation ofsome of the 80 residents from the multiple-occupancy community of Whytalaba.
Crews successfully defended 5 homes that were directly in the firepath. The firewas reported as spotting as much as 3kms forward of the main fire front and hasnow entered the Nymboida Shire.
Of the more than 30 fires that have affected the area for the past two weeks, 15have been declared out.
Of the 13 fires currently affecting the area, seven are being patrolled, one iscontained, two is being contained and three are going.
Ten continue to be patrolled. Containment work continues on four (Sandy Ck, TheOaks, Hewitts Peak and Oakwood Creek) while the McMinimus Fire is going

· Hewitts Peak (Henry River) east southeast of Glen Innes, 16820 ha beingcontrolled. Private and State Forest land. Started 5.9 on Brothers State Forest.Fire destroyed five dwellings in the multiple-occupancy community of Whytalabaat the weekend. Crews continued to protect property in the area today. Controlstrategy is to utilise existing trails and drainage systems for containmentlines. Construct new containment and fall back lines where necessary.
· Malara Fire, 545ha of private property and National Park, going. Start25/09/2003.
· Sandy Creek (Bulldog Rock) east of Tenterfield, 936ha, private, NPWS, StateForest land. Is contained. Started 12.9. The fire is burning in rough terrain.*· · McMinimus (Wallangarra) 700ha, going. Fire started in Queensland. Burnprogresses further through rough and inaccessible terrain – no immediate threatto assets of commercial value.*
· Oaks (Sandy Flat) southeast of Tenterfield, 6029ha, private and State Forestland is being controlled.
· Started 8/9 on private property.
Crews will link between Petries Hut and Billyrimbil fire trail by back burningoff containment lines to the east.*
· 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 and beingpatrolled. Started 9.9 on State Forest. No active fire observed for some days.Brigades are patrolling. Air patrols.*
· Glen Elgin, 10ha private property. Fire was agressively mopped up yesterdayby ground crews and is being patrolled today.
· Turkey Nest (Drake) 57ha start 22/9 State Forest, being patrolled. No currentthreat posed. Fire is being monitored by air.*
· Lighting T Fire 1ha, being patrolled, started 26/09/03 on State Forest.
· 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.

· Tinderbox – 70ha, start 27/09/03 being controlled. Continue to monitor activefire edge. Establish containment lines and fallback positions, back burn whencontainment lines are established and conditions allow.
· Butterleaf Fire (northeast of Glen Innes), 1827ha, is being patrolled.Started 30.8. No active fire observed at perimeter for some days . Helicopterreconnaissance continues.
· Oakwood Creek (Henry River) east southeast of Glen Innes, 6875ha nationalpark, State Forest and private property is OUT. Started 2.9 on private property.
· Kangawalla Fire (Shannon Vale) east southeast of Glen Innes, 586ha, isOUT.Started 14.9 on private property.
· Capoompeta (south of Tenterfield), 5696ha private, State Forest, nationalpark land is OUT. Start private property 2.9.
· Bebo Fire (west northwest of Tenterfield), 601ha State Forest and privateStarted lightning strike in State Forest on 13.9. Is OUT.

A Section 44 `bushfire emergency’ applies to the Cessnock and Maitland districtsto enable firefighters to coordinate resources on fires in the area.
Although winds were difficult today temperatures remained mild and no severefire runs were experienced. Containment has nearly been achieved on the NaroneCk and Watagan Ck fires and containment line work will contine on these and theother fires in the area this evening.
The declaration was made on Thursday, 25/9. The three uncontained fires in theLaguna, Wollombi and Bucketty areas are in steep rough terrain with limitedaccess. The fires have joined to form one complex – 5km southeast of Laguna.
More than 100 firefighters are working in the area. A new fire broke out in theWatagan Ck Rd area, near the Laguna complex, on Friday. A task force of RFSunits from Singleton and Fire Brigades units attended to assist local resourceswith another 24 firefighters.
There were concerns for rural properties on Watagan Ck Rd as the fire moved on aridge behind houses.
· Laguna Complex 2750ha (Noulanas Arm Fire, Cullys Arm Fire, Narome Ck Fire,Watagan Ck Fire). 100 RFS and State Forests firefighters are working oncontainment lines with assistance from 6 helicopters.
Noulanans Arm Fire – 200ha. Over night the fire continued to burn slowly backtowards the west and down into Blaxlands Arm. There are no identified assetsunder direct threat in the near future. Air Support have carried out somebucketing to quell fire activity during the day.
Cullys Arm Fire – 1700ha backburning operations went in well yesterday and crewsovernight continued to deepen containment lines and actively mop up and monitorthe line. A number of trees did fall and have been cleared from the trail.Current threat with the predicated winds remains the state forests assets to theeast and isolated assets within the Will-O-Wind holdings. Crews are monitoringfire activity along the eastern boundary through sectors Bravo and Charlie.Aerial support is to confirm the status and fire activity along Alpha and Zulusectors. McDonald Sector is to be monitored and extinguished as it approachesthe trail as required.
Narone Creek Fire – 600hs Little fire active on the eastern boundary with thefire burning to the west, a number of rural assets may come under threat duringthe next 12-24 hours as the fire comes down off the ridge line. Firefighterssourced a western containment line along the ridge between Narone Creek andMilson’s Arm back towards Wollombi village. Crews are extinguishing active edgeswhere accessible. Crews will patrol and deepen control lines on the northern andsouthern flanks to ensure continued containment, extinguish any active firewhich approaches the valley floor. The western flank is currently open with somedozer work required to put in place with a containment line and back burningoperations under favourable conditions.
Watagan Creek Fire – 550ha Fire activity is low and is being patrolled by crewswith only a number of smoking trees in the centre of the burnt area, no assetsunder threat. Patrolling and mopping up has continued throughout the day.
Hawkesbury strike team has been assisting.
A fire at Heaton Rd, Quorrobolong, southeast of Cessnock has been contained andis being patrolled. The fire started on 26/9 and is being treated as suspicious.Fire is contained to control lines. Crews have walked the western containmentline and are actively blacking out any hot spots as needed.

NEW ENGLAND – Armidale, Guyra, Walcha & Uralla
Published – 29/09/2003

Containment work continued on the Kings Gap and Plum Tree fires while all othersremain on patrol.
Kings Gap fire backburning planned to contain the fire on Thunderbolts Way.
The Plum Tree fire that crossed the Oxley highway is still burning in remotecountry.
All other fires of concern are still at monitor and patrol. Remote area fires inState Forest and NPWS lands are still classed as going with strategies in placeto contain the fires in open country and on natural control lines.

· Tobins fire is being patrolled, 10ha. Started 26/09/03 suspiously. Crewspatrolling to ensure fire contained to west of Tobins Rd.
· Plum Tree Hill Fire is being controlled at 347ha Enfield State Forest. Crewscontinue construction of containments to west and north using dozer on site andmonitor fire where it has burnt into rainforest and previously burnt country tothe west and south. Started 11/09/03 .
· Yarrowitch River, 110ha private property. Being patrolled. Start 22/09/2003.
· Rusdens Ck, 15ha NPWS land. Being patrolled. Start 22/09/2003.
· Burns Ck, patrol, 700ha. Very low threat to further State Forest, however -fire is uncontained on private holdings to south east of State Forest. Likely toburn further 250 ha private holdings. Unlikely to escape from naturalcontainments of Burns Creek and Rowleys River. However if conditions aresuitable for spotting, could enter private holdings east of Rowleys River overnext few days. Started on private property 11/9.
· Hicks Fire, being patrolled at 1000ha of private, State Forest and NPWS. Verylow threat of fire making further incursions into State Forest. Similarly lowthreat of further incursions into national park. Fire started on privateproperty on 11/9.
· Double Dumps Fire, being controlled 740ha. Concerns for Enfield State Forest,Daisy Patch Flora Reserve and Cottan Bimbang National Park. Control strategiesinclude Rowley’s River and rainforest scrub to the east to contain. Firecontained by dozer trails and backburning on north, south and west flanks.

· Carrai Creek, being controlled, 610ha. Strategy is to contain fire to southof Warwick and Cochrane Rds and west of Smiths Ck. Backburns conducted fromWarwick Rd in front of fire moving to east. Use tractor to push control linefrom Warwick Rd into rainforest along Smiths Ck. Fire crossed Warwick Road pm26/09. Fire is burning in low fuels on western flank into Macleay River valley.Start on 11/9 on private property.
· Kings Gap, being controlled, 1200ha. Aim is to keep fire west of ThunderboltWay. Start 12/9 by lightning.

FAR NORTH COAST- Mt Warning – Tweed Ballina Byron
Published – 29/09/2003

Fire near Mt Warning is being patrolled.
Mt Warning – 75ha of National Park and private property. Being patrolled.Earthworks continue to establish containment line at Mt Warning, accessdifficult and in steep terrain. Start 26/9 by lightning.
Objective is to monitor the fire advance and control as it burns into paddocksto south and east and Mt Warning Rd/ Korrumbyn Crk to north. To west there isreasonable rainforest containment . Closure of Mt Warning National Park as of1400hrs 27/9/03 to restrict vehicle movements along the road for later fireoperations.
Property protection issues between fire and containment lines of KorrumbynCreek/ Mount Warning road.
Far North Coast – Mt Warning – Tweed Ballina Byron
Published – 29/09/2003

CLARENCE VALLEY- Pristine Waters
Published – 29/09/2003

Pine Tree Ridge fire going with Halfway Creek, Kangaroo Creek being controlledand all other fires contained. Conditions still remain very dry with reignitionsrequiring regular patrols.
Crews continue to establish containment lines, monitor and patrol.
Local RFS crews are working on the fires with assistance from Clarence Valley toTenterfield.
· Phillips Creek Fire, 4809ha, being patrolled on State Forest and privateland. Fire is contained on all sectors. Start 8.9 on State Forest.
· Broadmeadows (Dalmorton), 180ha, going. Start 10/9. Cause spotover from firein Dalmorton State Forest. Aerial and vehicle based assessment of potentialcontrol lines. Prepare control lines to mineral earth overnight. Backburn tocontain fire by this morning. Threat to small area of Guy Fawkes River NP untilsuitable control options identified.
· Middle Creek, being controlled, 2100ha. Start 22/9.
· Freemans Fire, 570ha. Start 09/09/2003. Being patrolled.
· Pine Trees Fire, 130ha.Going. Start 26/09. Possible threat to Dalmorton SF .Aerial observations of fire spread. When approaching Blacksmiths Shop Rd to thenorth and Pools Rd to the east, proposed backburn off these tracks to containfire within perimeter.
· Wells Spur Fire, 516ha, being patrolled by NPWS.
· Moses Rock Fire, 465ha, being patrolled.
· Stockyard Fire. 530ha, being patrolled.
· Blackbutt, 300ha, being patrolled.
· Ramornie Station, 500ha, being patrolled.
· Neaves, being controlled. 10ha.

Published – 29/09/2003

Most fires in the south coast were declared out after mild conditions on Sunday.

A fire at Ulladulla briefly threatened a caravan park at on the southernheadland on Saturday 27/9. The fire is now out with rain and hail and a windchange experienced on the fire ground. 15 fire tankers were quickly on the sceneand manage to avert any property loss.
Bridge Ck (Kioloa) 460ha. Start 25/9. Is OUT.

Wolumla Fire (Candello) – is OUT at 210ha on private property. Possibly startedby powerlines. Started 25/9.
Aragunnu Fire is contained within dozer line along the southern, western andnorthern edge of the fire and wet gully line to the east. Mop up and black outfire edge and hot spots within containment line.


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