Total fire bans in force for New England, North West and Northern Slopes areas with severe fire conditions predicted

Severe conditions: RFS crews extinguished this blaze at Carroll on Saturday. Photo: Ben Jaffrey
Severe conditions: RFS crews extinguished this blaze at Carroll on Saturday. Photo: Ben Jaffrey

UPDATE: WEDNESDAY

The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) says authorities have closed Mt Kaputar National Park to all visitors and the public due to a fire.

The wildfire is burning south of Sawn Rocks and the Bingara Rd and the predicted severe fire weather prompted crews to shut the park.

Heavy plant, aircraft and fire crews and currently working to contain the fire.

Roads into the Mt Kaputar National Park at Kaputar Rd and Upper Bullawa Creek Rd will be barricaded at the park entrances and at Coryah Gap, the OEH said.

The OEH also said Sawn Rocks and Waa Gorge is closed to the public.

A total fire ban is in place for the Northern Slopes, North West and New England fire zones.

Severe conditions: RFS crews work to control a blaze at Carroll on Saturday. Photo: Ben Jaffrey

Severe conditions: RFS crews work to control a blaze at Carroll on Saturday. Photo: Ben Jaffrey

TUESDAY NIGHT

LOCAL firefighters are bracing for some of the worst fire conditions on Wednesday as hot winds and searing temperatures bake the region.

The Rural Fire Service (RFS) said in the severe conditions predicted for places like Tamworth, any fire that breaks out will be almost unstoppable.

“Under severe conditions, fires will be uncontrollable and fast moving, and could threaten properties with little warning,” Tamworth RFS Superintendent Allyn Purkiss said. 

“If a fire breaks out in these severe conditions, you should only stay with your home if it’s well-prepared and you are able to actively defend it.” 

On Tuesday night, firefighters were working to get the upper-hand and control the Glenelg Road fire burning at Bundarra that had burnt out 250 hectares. 

On Saturday, crews battled winds and searing temperatures to battle a blaze at Carroll that burnt out more than 80 hectares.

Motorists caught tossing a lit cigarette during a total fire ban will be slapped with a $1320 fine.

Meanwhile, National Parks and Wildlife Service and Rural Fire Service crews are currently working to control a fire at Mount Kaputar.

Incident Controller Darren Pitt said the fire was very visible from a wide area due to its high elevation.

“The Bobbiwaa Creek Fire is believed to have started with a lightning strike and is currently being controlled using aircraft, heavy plant and crews from NPWS and RFS,” he said on Tuesday afternoon.

“Currently the fire is approximately 150 hectares in size, within Mt Kaputar National Park and not threatening property.

“Warmer conditions on Wednesday may see fire activity increase and we are working with the RFS to develop contingency plans if the fire expands.

Some visitor areas within the park, such as Sawn Rocks Day Use Area are closed to the public while the fire fighting operations are underway.

“People intending to visit Mt Kaputar are encouraged to check for the latest information on closures on the national parks website www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au or contact the Narrabri NPWS Office,” Mr Pitt said.

This story Crews close park as wildfire rages in severe conditions | Update first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.

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