A large bushfire threatens homes on the coast east of Taree

A large bushfire threatens homes on the coast east of Taree

03 October 2013

published by www.abc.net.au

Australia — Residents living near the Crowdy Head National Park east of Taree are this afternoon battling to protect their homes from a nearby bushfire.

A Rural Fire Service alert is current for the Crowdy Gap fire which has burned across more than 1600 hectares of coastal scrub.

It has prompted the evacuation of the Crowdy Bay, Kylie’s Beach and Diamond Head national park camping grounds.

Coralville resident Sunni Boulton’s property adjoins the national park and said the fire is getting very close to her home.

“We’re really close it must be within a kilometre of where we are now or less,” she said.

“It flared up this morning sometime after it dies off last night and probably mid-morning it flared right up.

“Pretty concerned it’s so close and the wind’s sort of blowing towards us right now.

“It looks like it’s burning sort of parallel with us.”

The out of control bushfire is threatening more than a dozen properties.

The fire is being fanned by strong south-westerly winds.

Three National Parks camping grounds have been evacuated at Crowdy head, Kylie’s Beach and Diamond Head.

Power has been cut to Crowdy Head.

Inspector Paul McGrath from the Rural Fire Service said a number of properties west of Diamond Head Rd are under immediate threat.

“There’s approximately 12 to 14 properties in that area,” he said.

“Fire appliances have been deployed to undertake property protection at those properties, as well as we still have our aircraft in place and they’re also assisting as well.

Inspector McGrath says a wind change later today is likely to push the fire further north.

“The smoke will head away from Harrington but we are getting reports of smoke entering the Port Macquarie area,” he said.

“Crews remain in place in Harrington village and north of Harrington.

“They are being supported by water-bombing aircraft.

“We’ve got over 60 firefighters in the field, 15 fire appliances, 6 helicopters, 2 fixed-wing bombers.

“Basically our aircraft are hitting it with everything they’ve got.”

Inspector McGrath says the fire threat has led to the evacuation of camping grounds.

“No properties are at threat at the moment,” he said.

“As a precautionary measure Crowdy Bay, Kylies Beach camping areas have been closed by National Parks and Wildlife Service,” he said.

“They will also have people at place at Diamond Head today as a precautionary measure.

“Would like to advise residents though that local roads may be closed at any time because they’re affected by smoke.”

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