Monday, February 13, 2017: Fires continue to burn | rolling coverage

Sunday’s coverage

There might have been overnight showers but don’t begin to think the fire threat has evaporated. Authorities have warned the danger period is not over.

Rolling updates will continue throughout the day.

A number of major fires on the Mid North Coast - near Kempsey, near Taree, to the west of Wauchope and north of Gloucester – have all been downgraded to "advice" level by Monday morning, meaning there was no immediate danger to properties or residents.

On Monday morning, about 90 fires were still burning across the state.

Monday’s updates

4.30pm: Two fires are burning to the west of Wauchope in the vicinity of Pappin barra Rd, Beechwood. Favourable conditions have assisted firefighters who are bringing the fire under control.

Although conditions have eased, there are still pockets of fire burning within identified containment lines.

Residents in the vicinity of Pap pin barra Rd in Hollis dale, Lower Pap pin barra and Beech wood should monitor the conditions and follow directions of fire fighters on the ground.

3.30pm: There are 274 customers without power west of Wauchope, primarily in the Pappinbarra area.

Essential Energy received clearance from the RFS this morning to access the fire affected areas to commence line patrols. Crews have started some repairs with more than 20 power poles, and associated infrastructure, being destroyed and requiring replacement. For all the details, click here

3.15pm: The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) has completed an initial assessment of areas affected by bush fires at the weekend. At this stage, a total of 19 homes have been confirmed destroyed, with two others damaged.

Pappinbarra (Port Macquarie-Hastings LGA)

  • 4 homes destroyed
  • 1 house damaged
  • 4 outbuildings destroyed

2.20pm: Richard and Elizabeth Bibby were given two minutes to evacuate their Dondingalong home when a bush fire came at them on Sunday. Read on

Richard and Elizabeth Bibby and their daughter Susanne Miller inspected the remains of the bush fire that came close to their property.

Richard and Elizabeth Bibby and their daughter Susanne Miller inspected the remains of the bush fire that came close to their property.

2pm: The terrible bush fires at Pappinbarra have brought out the incredible community spirit and kindness of people there, in Beechwood, Wauchope and around the Hastings. Read on

Firefighters battled fierce conditions to save people, animals and homes west of Wauchope over the weekend.

Firefighters battled fierce conditions to save people, animals and homes west of Wauchope over the weekend.

1.15pm: Fire crews from across the Mid North Coast united to take on one of the most challenging weather events seen in the region’s history when record-breaking temperatures and gale force winds combined to create a fire storm west of Wauchope. More photos

Port Macquarie-Hastings mayor Peter Besseling at the Pappinbarra fiire ground. Photo: Matt Attard.

Port Macquarie-Hastings mayor Peter Besseling at the Pappinbarra fiire ground. Photo: Matt Attard.

12.45pm: Port Macquarie-Hastings mayor Peter Besseling and Oxley MP Melinda Pavey joined Rural Fire Service Superintendent Kam Baker in Pappinbarra this morning.

Supt Baker gave an update on the devastating situation, while Mr Besseling and Mrs Pavey threw their support behind those affected, as well as thanking the efforts of firefighters and volunteers.

12.10pm: Mid North Coast residents have rallied together to ensure the wellbeing of animals as well as humans were upheld during record hot conditions over the weekend. Read more

Wauchope Vets veterinarian Michael Ferguson said animals of all kinds are susceptible to heat stress and heat stroke. Prevention requires awareness. Photo: Wauchope Vets

Wauchope Vets veterinarian Michael Ferguson said animals of all kinds are susceptible to heat stress and heat stroke. Prevention requires awareness. Photo: Wauchope Vets

Noon: At times like these the good old hall is a community lifeline. And such is the case in Pappinbarra right now. There’s a barbecue tonight; the hall’s open all day; and support services are available, says Lisa McLeod.

11.40pm: Conditions are continuing to ease this morning near the Pappinbarra Rd fire, with increased humidity and decreased winds, which is expected to give crews the upper hand.

Although conditions have eased, residents in the vicinity of Pappinbarra Rd in Hollisdale, Lower Pappinbarra and Beechwood should remain vigilant and follow directions of firefighters on the ground.

Residents in the vicinity of Pappinbarra Rd in Hollisdale, Lower Pappinbarra and Beechwood should remain vigilant and follow directions of firefighters on the ground.

Roads may be closed at short notice.

11.30am: Waychope Gazette journalist Letitia Fitzpatrick reports from Pappinbarra:

11.20am: A large bush fire is burning in the vicinity of Thunderbolts Way, Giro to the north of Gloucester. The fire is currently over 9000 hectares in size and burning in a north easterly direction.

Residents in the vicinity of Thunderbolts Way and Barnards, Giro should closely monitor the situation and follow the directions of firefighters in the area.

Thunderbolts Way is closed between Scone Rd at Gloucester in the South to Nowendoc Village in the North. It is likely to remain closed for the day.

11am: It was one of those days where you had to eat your Zooper Dooper in record-time before it melted moments after you took it out of the freezer. What were the temperatures? Find out here

10.25am: Families affected by the bushfires or power outages are advised that the Beechwood School Canteen is open to provide breakfast, recess and lunch. They have cereal, fruit, water and sandwiches available.

The school is calling for volunteers and donated goods.

Lee Grigg and Alison Drury are among the volunteers helping to man the centre for emergency crews or people affected by the fires.

Lee Grigg and Alison Drury are among the volunteers helping to man the centre for emergency crews or people affected by the fires.

Lee Grigg and Alison Drury are among the volunteers helping to man the centre for emergency crews or people affected by the fires.

10am: There are just over 600 customers across Port Macquarie and west of Wauchope who remain without power following the gale force winds that moved across the Mid North Coast on Sunday.

8.30am: A man will appear in court today after two deliberately lit fires started near Nabiac. Full story

WAUCHOPE 7am: Mal Yarnold, group officer with the RFS, says local residents now have access to Pappinbarra Rd

It is believed three properties have been lost to the Papinbarra fire and a number of sheds.

PAPPINBARRA RD 6am: Two fires are burning in the vicinity of Pappinbarra Rd, Beechwood to the west of Wauchope. The fires are moving in a northerly direction towards Beechwood.

A southerly change has impacted the area and the fire is now burning north towards Bellangry Rd.

Conditions are easing this morning, with increased humidity and decreased winds in the area.

Firefighters are dealing with fire activity as it approaches properties in the area.

Although conditions have eased, residents in the vicinity of Pappinbarra Rd in Hollisdale, Lower Pappinbarra and Beechwood should remain vigilant and be prepared to implement their bush fire survival plans.

Residents in the vicinity of Bellangry Rd and Pappinbarra Rd in Hollisdale, Lower Pappinbarra and Beechwood should monitor the situation and follow the directions of firefighters in the area.

Roads may be closed at short notice.

The Pappinbarra Rd fire on Sunday. Photo: Rod Chetwynd

The Pappinbarra Rd fire on Sunday. Photo: Rod Chetwynd

DONGDINGALONG 6am: The fire is burning in the area of Ballengara Road, Pipers Creek Road, Spring Hill Road and Rainbows End Road, Dondingalong, 10km south of Kempsey.

Winds have eased in the area and fire activity has slowed. Firefighters will continue to monitor and strengthen containment lines.

Residents in the vicinity of Ballengara Road, Pipers Creek Road, Cockatoo Lane and Myers Lane should remain vigilant.

Advice People in the area should remain vigilant and monitor conditions.

Follow the directions of firefighters on the ground.

WHERROL FLAT 6am: There are a number of fires burning in the Mid Coast area, including on Mount Pleasant Road, Wherrol Flat.

Easing conditions overnight including some light rain over the fireground, however not enough to extinguish the fire. Firefighters continue to work on containment.

Residents in the area should monitor the situation and stay aware.

Roads may be closed at short notice.

Advice Residents in the area should monitor conditions.

GLOUCESTER 5.30am: A bush fire is burning in the vicinity of Thunderbolts Way, Giro to the north of Gloucester. The fire is currently over 1200 hectares in size and burning in a north easterly direction.

A bush fire is burning in the vicinity of Thunderbolts Way and Barnards, Giro moving in a northerly direction.

Although conditions are easing across the fire ground, residents in the area should continue to monitor the situation.

Residents in the vicinity of Thunderbolts Way and Barnards, Giro should monitor the situation.

Closely monitor conditions and follow the directions of firefighters in the area.

Thunderbolts Way remains closed between Scone Rd at Gloucester in the South to Nowendoc Village in the North.