Clarence Valley Rural Fire Service crews battled an out of control bushfire at Whiteman Creek west of Grafton on Saturday, 10th August, 2019.
Clarence Valley Rural Fire Service crews battled an out of control bushfire at Whiteman Creek west of Grafton on Saturday, 10th August, 2019. Bill North

Crews from around NSW join local efforts to battle fires

FIRES blazing around the Valley have become too much for local fire crews, leading to a declaration that has brought crews from far and wide to assist. 

The section 44 declaration made this morning allows the Rural Fire Service to utilise all available resources in the event of a major fire. 

NSW Fire and Rescue Crews from Maclean, Ballina, Lismore, Casino, Woolgoolga and Coffs Harbour attended several blazes last night and will continue to work with Clarence Valley crews this morning.

WATCH: Go inside the Whiteman Creek fire

Some crews originally assembled to be dispatched to fires burning further south near Kempsey, but were called out to assist with property protection at the Lanitza bushfire when it was upgraded to Emergency Warning at 10.35pm.

The situation eased, and one crew member stated he was in bed by 2.30am.

NSW Fire and Rescue crew members from Ballina who arrived in Grafton overnight prepare to be dispatched to assist with fires in the Clarence Valley region.
NSW Fire and Rescue crew members from Ballina who arrived in Grafton overnight prepare to be dispatched to assist with fires in the Clarence Valley region. Bill North

At 9am Maclean captain Owen Gray spoke to The Daily Examiner as his crew prepared for a long day ahead on the Valley's firegrounds.

"We're just going to check out where we're up to now and see where we're heading today," Capt Gray said.

"We'll be tasked out to assist the RFS wherever there are fires still continuing."

The fire at Lanitza bushfire has been downgraded but with winds expected to pick up this afternoon residents are urged to be cautious and prepared.

Inside the Whiteman Creek bushfire: HIGH winds and low hampered efforts to contain an out of control bushfire threatening properties west of Grafton. Video by Bill North / The Daily Examiner
Inside the Whiteman Creek bushfire: HIGH winds and low hampered efforts to contain an out of control bushfire threatening properties west of Grafton. Video by Bill North / The Daily Examiner