PHOTOS

Nambucca and Kempsey bushfires now under control but permits are still suspended

All fires within the Kempsey and Nambucca government areas are now under control. Photo: NSW RFS
All fires within the Kempsey and Nambucca government areas are now under control. Photo: NSW RFS

All fires in the Kempsey and Nambucca government areas are now under control, following a busy start to the bush fire season for local firefighters over the last few weeks.

The declaration of a Section 44 under the Rural Fires Act has been lifted, with local crews now monitoring the fires.

"As of 5pm yesterday afternoon (August 22) the Section 44 has been lifted and all first response crews are now local," NSW RFS Lower North Coast Superintendent Lachlann Ison said.

"Over the past few weeks we've had support from Fire and Rescue, National Parks and Wildlife and Forestry Corporation to bring the fires under control."

Since August 10 when the Section 44 was declared, out of area crews called in to help local firefighters consisted of eight strike teams, with each team consisting of four trucks and 15 crew members as well as eight aircraft.

737 large air tanker dropping fire retardant on the fire north of Crescent Head on Saturday August 10. Photo: Heather Matthews

737 large air tanker dropping fire retardant on the fire north of Crescent Head on Saturday August 10. Photo: Heather Matthews

"As well as ground crews, we also had a number of out of area personnel assist at the Fire Control Centre," Supt Ison said.

"Crews will continue to monitor the fires over the next few weeks. We are expecting the next two days to be quite warm but the wind is expected to be an easterly which might be in our favour.

"Until we see some significant rain, we are still in that danger period and could experience more bush fires due to the dry conditions."

All fire permits remain suspended for the Kempsey and Nambucca government areas.

On top of protecting properties, running containment lines and navigating helicopter drops at fires burning in the Macleay and around Port Macquarie, the Nambucca's many dedicated fire crews have been tasked to a few difficult situations right here over the past week.

At the end of last week four of our brigades were called out to guard houses from a grass and bush fire at Millbank, behind Taylor's Arm.

The fire was fairly quickly contained along the flats, but soon moved into steep and relatively impenetrable forested area.

"Containment line set up was the main focus. Being an area we didn't know and hard to gain access, we had the assistance of firebird 230 who gave deputy group 4 and one of our deputy captains a ride in a helictoper to plan a containment line," Newee Creek RFS Brigade reported.

"Crews worked well today in steep and dry terrain. A few kilometres were definitely walked."

Then on Saturday multiple RFS and Fire and Rescue crews responded to a fire in Talarm.

"Today's adventure was a doozy!!! The fire had escaped a suspected illegal pile burn into old banana land. Eight-foot high lantana...with lots of hoses and help we gained the upper hand. Every crew member did an outstanding job. If the fire had spread, who knows where it would be now. Big thanks to the IMT and the SES.... the welfare was appreciated," Valla Rural Fire Brigade reported.

New sentences have just come into place in NSW for deliberately-lit fires.

Anyone who deliberately starts a bush fire in NSW will face up to 21 years in prison - with a standard non-parole sentence of 9 years.

Also in the news