Smoke, fire and hope at Myall Creek Rd, Bora Ridge
CHARCOLED leaves drop from the dusky sky and the wind roars as the flames lick their way across the landscape as the Myall Creek Road Fire continues to burn out of control.
Overhead a helicopter can be heard but not seen, as the thick smoke swirls, changing colour to indicate the fire is not devouring fuel other than trees and bush.
Ranked as Watch & Act, suddenly the smoke expands rapidly and change to a nasty, brackish black.
The air is getting thicker and apart from a lone kookaburra sounding off, there's no noise apart from the miniature weather storm caused by the flames, which twist and flicker their deadly way through the bush.
Along the road trees are denuded of leaves and bear blackened bark, showing how high the flames were when they roared through.
Several cars loaded up with anxious parents, children, beloved pets and belongings make their way down the road towards Coraki and safety.
On Myall Creek Rd, several Rural Fire Service tankers gather, their pumps already turning over so the moment the firefighters need to have water in their lines, it will be ready.
Only 40km south of Lismore, the landscape resembles a disaster zone and it's hard to imagine how any homes will survive - but there's no doubt the stalwart RFS firefighters will do their best.
RFS media liaison Aaron Hayward said there has been increased fire activity between Summerland Way and Myall Creek Rd.
He confirmed some properties currently have fire crews ready to defend homes against the flames.
"The flank of the fire is heading in a southerly direction,” he said.
"At this stage there is no threat to Whiporie.
"Ahead of tomorrow, we may see the fire move in north-westerly direction towards Busby Flat Rd.”
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Meteorology has reported Sunday's conditions will be partly cloudy with areas of smoke haze inland, most likely in the morning.
The BoM said there's a medium (50 per cent) chance of showers in the afternoon and evening and the chance of a thunderstorm in the afternoon and evening, possibly severe.
Winds south-east to south-westerly 15 to 20 km/h tending north-west to south-westerly 20 to 30 km/h early in the morning then tending south to south-easterly in the late afternoon.
Overnight temperatures falling to between 15 and 18 with daytime temperatures reaching 30 to 35.
Total Fire Ban Sunday
A Total Fire Ban has been declared for the Far North Coast, Greater Hunter, New England, Northern Slopes, and North Western regions tomorrow, Sunday 17 November 2019, due to forecast hot and windy conditions.
The Total Fire Ban, commencing at midnight tonight, covers the following councils: Far North Coast (Severe) - Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley, Tweed.
The RFS reported on Saturday afternoon the Myall Creek Road Fire has burned more than 10,340ha and recommends people avoid bushland areas.
- If you are threatened by fire, do not be in the path of the fire.
- Protect yourself from the heat of the fire. Wear protective clothing and footwear. Cover all exposed skin.
- If the fire impacts, seek shelter in a solid structure to protect yourself from the heat of the fire.
- If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero.
- For a list of evacuation centres visit https://www.emergency.nsw.gov.au/Pages/for-the-community/disaster-assistance/disaster-assistance.aspx.
- People are encouraged to register online at Register Find Reunite https://register.redcross.org.au/ before attending evacuation centres.
- For a list of school closures visit https://education.nsw.gov.au/public-schools/school-safety.
- Stay up to date on bush fires in your area by checking the NSW RFS website, listening to your local radio station, or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.
- For information on road closures, check http://livetraffic.rta.nsw.gov.au. Roads may be closed without warning.
- The next update on this fire will be issued by 16/11/2019 18:15 or if the situation changes.