The Bees Nest bush fire is burning within the Chaelundi State Forest, the Guy Fawkes National Park, and Pargo Flat areas, the NSW Rural Fire Service advised on Thursday morning.
The fire is more than 97,000 hectares in size, has a perimeter of 912 km, but firefighters are bringing it under control.
Smoke from the bushfires is likely to affect areas across the northern tablelands, including Armidale, Glen Innes, and Tamworth.
Firefighters have worked across the fireground to contain the fire, the RFS said. They have backburned (controlled fires) to stop the blaze spreading, where weather conditions allowed.
If the smoke inversion lifts, firefighters and water bombing aircraft will continue planned backburns on the north-eastern section of the fire ground. Crews will also directly attack the fire where possible.
A forecast increase in temperatures and reduced humidity over the coming days may see more fire activity behind identified containment lines.
People in the vicinity of the fires should keep up to date with the situation as conditions change.
People in Billys Creek, Tyringham, Marengo, Moonpar, Dundarrabin or Bostobrick should monitor the situation.
Trees damaged by fire may block local roads. Follow firefighters' instructions.
Hunter New England Health advised people to:
- Follow advice provided by the NSW RFS
- Stay indoors, with windows and doors closed, or in air-conditioned premises
- Avoid vigorous exercise, especially if you have asthma or a lung condition
- If you experience issues breathing, please seek urgent medical advice
Winds light and variable mean bushfire smoke is likely to settle in towns across the region, including Armidale, Glen Innes, and Tamworth.
This smoke is likely to persist for the next few days while wind conditions remain relatively stable. Inversions may trap smoke, reducing air quality through the nights and early mornings.
Particles in bushfire smoke can cause health problems, including itchy or burning eyes, throat irritation, runny nose, and illnesses such as bronchitis, or aggravate existing lung conditions, such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma, the NSW Department of Health advised.
Children, older adults and people with heart and lung conditions are most susceptible to the effects of air pollution and excessive smoke.
If you have asthma or a lung condition, reduce outdoor activities if smoke levels are high. If you develop shortness of breath or coughing, take your reliever medicine or seek medical advice.
Asthma sufferers need to follow their Asthma Action Plan and take their relieving medication where necessary. If symptoms get worse, seek medical advice. Further advice is available from the Asthma Foundation website (https://asthma.org.au/about-asthma/triggers/bushfires-and-smoke/).
NSW Health has tips to manage the effects of smoke: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/factsheets/Pages/bushfire-smoke.aspx
- Monitor Fires Near Me for information about fires in your area.
- Keep doors and windows closed to prevent smoke from entering your home, while keeping aware of fire danger in your area.
- Ensure pets have a protected area.
- If you're driving through a smoky area, slow down, keep your windows up, and turn your headlights on.
- Don't call Triple Zero just to report that it's smoky. Save Triple Zero for emergencies.
For any Disaster Welfare assistance or queries, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444, hours of operation: Monday to Friday - 8:30am to 4:30pm
Local Land Services can assist with emergency fodder, stock water, and assessment of animals affected by fire. Landowners can contact them on 1800 814 647.
- If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.
- Continue to stay up to date with the bush fire situation by checking http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, listening to your local radio station or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.
- For information on road closures, check http://livetraffic.rta.nsw.gov.au. Roads may be closed without warning.