Dangerous dry prompts fire ban
THE Rural Fire Service (RFS) has suspended all fire permits for the Far North Coast until 5.00pm on Monday, September 17, as gusty winds and tinder dry conditions continue to endanger local bush and residential areas.
Cudgen resident Kelly Smith said she was well aware of the possible dangers associated with living so close to a high fire risk area.
"We've been here for around 18 months and come from Far North Queensland, where we lived in a cyclone prone area."
"Now we're in a location where fires are an issue and we do have concerns."
Mrs Smith said the family talked about where to go and who to call when a bush fire came near their home but hadn't considered fighting the fire.
"With a newborn baby, we decided to escape the danger area and just ensure we're all safe," Mrs Smith said.
Rural Fire Service Inspector Corey Phillips said the only fires still allowed were essential agricultural burns which included sugar cane harvest burns and burning of dead stock.
Inspector Phillips said the suspension of permits was due to a very high fire danger in the area and the current activities of the fire service in the Far North Coast region.
The Rural Fire Service reported around 20 fires were burning in the Clarence Valley and Tweed fire-fighters together with members from the lower Northern Rivers area and the Blue Mountains arrived in the valley last Monday to assist their local counterparts.
NSW RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said winds were expected to gust to around 95 kms an hour in some areas and under these conditions any fires which did start had the potential to spread quickly and prove quite challenging for fire fighters.
Inspector Phillips said the Tweed service had sent two trucks to assist their fellow fire fighters in the Clarence Valley.
The teams operating the trucks were on a five day deployment and would return to the Tweed on Friday.
Inspector Phillips expected Thursday and Friday would be the main high risk days with conditions easing off on the weekend and into next week.
"There may be some very isolated thunderstorms and showers but we expect little rainfall to come from these."
For more information visit the NSW RFS website at rfs.nsw.gov.au.