More houses lost to bushfire overnight
UPDATE 11.20am: TENTERFIELD Mayor Peter Petty has visited the "horrific" scenes in the aftermath of fire at Tabulam.
Cr Petty said the area was still under threat of the fire as it continues to burn.
"Luckily no houses were lost in the village," he said.
"The worst damage was to the graziers on the western side, their properties were all burnt out.
"Jubullum were really lucky, the fire seemed to just quickly whistle through because of the winds.
"But they had very little resources to fight it with in terms of water.
"Luckily no lives were lost.
"It's not over yet and it's being closely monitored."
"This (fire) is the last thing we wanted.
"People just need to be vigilant."
UPDATE 9.25am: MORE property has been lost and light rain is hindering firefighting efforts in the Tabulam area.
Rural Fire Service incident controller Superintendent Michael Brett said conditions had been difficult on the fireground overnight.
"We've lost some homes on the northern side of the Bruxner Highway," Supt Brett said.
"On that northern side of the Bruxner Highway there was some intense fire activity."
He said a wind change brought tumultuous conditions to the fireground between 9.30 and 10pm last night.
While there have been reports of three more homes lost overnight, Supt Brett said this figure had not been confirmed and was subject to further on-ground investigations.
While crews - who could not leave safely until about 3.30am - worked hard to save the properties, Supt Brett said the fire was too severe.
"The crews on the ground told me it came through like a train," he said.
"They worked very hard to protect property but it became too dangerous."
He said the RFS and police evacuated people from the area around Sugarbag Rd.
Thankfully, no injuries have been reported.
While more significant rains have been reaching the coast, Supt Brett said a light rain over the fire area would not help.
Rather, he said the deluge would make no impact on the fire while the cloud cover will make it too difficult for aircraft to assist.
He said residents in the areas of Old Bruxner Rd, Pretty Valley Rd and Sugarbag Rd should be aware fire may impact them.
The fire remains at a Watch and Act alert level.
After a 40-year-old woman was charged over the fire yesterday, Supt Brett said it was important to understand the gravity of lighting fires during a total fire ban.
He said many residents would likely be experiencing fatigue and extreme frustration as the fire continues to threaten the area.
"What makes it worse is we were under a total fire ban (when the fire was allegedly lit) and the total fire ban was put there for that reason… when the conditions are such that any fires that develop will be very difficult."
He said that anyone would ignore the ban was "ludicrous".
Original: FIREFIGHTERS gave their all as they ensured the town of Tabulam was protected on Wednesday.
After an uneasy night and with more hot winds predicted before a possible change, Rural Fire Service crews were on alert as the out-of-control blaze at Tabulam, west of Casino, has already burnt through more than 5000 hectares.
While 241km to the south-west, almost 6000 hectares of bush has been lost in Tingha, south of Inverell, and around the community of Old Mill.
At Tabulam, burned paddocks surrounded the town and evidence of where the fire-fighters had clawed back against the flames were evident in the scorched earth.
Earlier in the day a RFS representative said they more than 30 firefighters on trucks from brigades all over the region report for duty.
While farmers counted the cost of lost stock, five people faced the gut-wrenching news they had a lost their residence.
At nearby Jubullum Village, an unknown number of structures in the indigenous community were also been damaged by the fire.
The RFS lost no time is sending out not just firefighters, they also had members undertaking assessments of burned properties and speaking with locals to assess losses.
RFS Superintendent Michael Brett praised the volunteer and career staff of all agencies who had stepped up to help keep the community safe.
"The fire had burned more than 5000 hectares and is still burning," he said.
"I'm really proud of how well all the different agencies have worked together."
Tabulam resident Jill Adam, 76, said she was very relieved to be finally be able to check on her beloved cattle who had been taken after walking to the Chauvel Rd property from the nearby racecourse.
"I was petrified about my cows," she said.
"We have a lost a cow and a calf which is very sad."
Ms Adam said her next door neighbour moved in only three weeks ago.
"He's lost everything and he just bought the property," she said.
Looking around Ms Adam wiped her face with a damp towel.
"There's no noise, not even any birds, just the wind," she said.
Earlier Darren Watt, 28, stopped by with his dad Barry to see how his uncle Kevin was faring.
Mr Watt said he was pleased his bees at Little Yellow Creek had come through the fire in one piece.
"We just pick up again and keep going," he said looking at the remains of the destruction on the property.
By 4pm Tabulam appeared deserted apart from an officer at the police station, while around 20 people were in the nearby pub.
Meanwhile, fire trucks continued to roll into the town carrying fresh crews, ready to undertake patrolling the town's containment lines to keep the community safe.