Commissioner of NSW RFS Shane Fitzsimmons arrived at Tyringham to inspect the fire front with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and deputy Premier John Barilaro on Wednesday, September 11
The trio were welcomed by local volunteers and families. Commissioner Fitzgibbon declared Tenterfield, Glen Innes and Drake as safe, and then ventured into more detail on fighting forestry fires.
"This drought is having a profound effect on the landscape and on the moisture in the ground, but that also translates to the vegetation," he said
"Fires are starting easily and spreading incredibly quickly. Firefighter after firefighter are reporting; these bloody things just won't go out.
"There is a lot of hard work going on, 70,000 hectares has burnt [and] it has an edge around it of 370 kilometres. Where we can we get in there and do direct fire fighting, but a lot of this stuff is inaccessible."
Commissioner Fitzsimmons said firefighting was high risk and dangerous and spoke about firefighters being tested under certain circumstances, such as the family of Neville Smith.
A seasoned RFS volunteer, Neville received severe burns while fighting the fire south of Tenterfield. He is now in the Royal Brisbane Men's and Women's Hospital in a critical but stable condition and being supported by his family.
The Commissioner stressed the importance of people living in bushfire prone areas to have a bushfire plan.
"There are really simple questions on our web site about assessing the risk that you face. Then when you have answered all the questions, accepting that risk, doing something about it," he said.
"If your decision after being on our web site that you need to leave when the risk of fire is present then be aware of the different routes you can use in case a road you assume you can use, is blocked by fire."