Hot temperatures have made it tough going for Rural Fire Service crews battling the Pilliga bush fire

RAGING FIRE: Rural Fire Service crews are battling to contain the southern edge of the bushfire burning in the Pilliga National Park. Photo: NSW Rural Fire Service

RAGING FIRE: Rural Fire Service crews are battling to contain the southern edge of the bushfire burning in the Pilliga National Park. Photo: NSW Rural Fire Service

UPDATE: 

Rural Fire Service (RFS) crews are working hard to contain a bushfire burning in the Pilliga National Park as fire activity increases near Dandry Road and the southern edge of the fire.

Ground crews along with several air tankers are working to prevent the fire from heading towards the Dandry trail after a northerly wind steered the fire in the direction of the fire’s southern edge.

NSW RFS public liaison officer Angela Daly said areas of back burning had meet with the fire front.

“Crews are working very,very hard to contain to contain the fire around the southern edge and to prevent spot overs along Dandry Road,” Ms Daly said.

“The current intensity of the fire due to the hot afternoon conditions means that crews will continue to work hard with the goal being to contain the fire at the southern edge.

“We will continue to asses the fire as the day wears on and we head into hopefully a cooler evening and night.”

EARLIER:

AN out-of-control bushfire in the Pilliga National Park has kept NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) crews busy over the weekend.

Crews from as far away as Kempsey, Lismore and Coffs Harbour have joined local firefighters in battling the blaze, which has so far burnt more than 54,000 hectares.

Along with heavy plant equipment, such as bulldozers and graders, 15 fire-fighting aircraft have also been used to help contain the fire.

NSW RFS public liaison officer Angela Daly said firefighters are facing “another challenging day”.

“Firefighters are now working on containing the fire in a 120 kilometre perimeter,” Ms Daly said.

“Crews had a successful night last night with heavy plant equipment, which should help a lot in keeping the fire within the containment lines.”

Ms Daly said at this stage no homes are in immediate danger from the fire, but urged local residents to stay updated about the fire’s status.

“There are some remote properties on the southern side and western side of the fire,” she said.

“At the moment there isn’t too great a risk to those homes but that is dependent of wind changes so we urge residents of the whole area to stay up to date with the latest information on the fires near me and RFS websites.”

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The RFS officer said Monday’s weather will be “a little kinder” to firefighters.

“Conditions are still severe with an expected top temperature of 40 degrees,” she said.

“However the conditions will not be as dangerous or as severe as the weekend with lighter winds expected.”

Ms Daly said smoke from the fire will continue to be visible throughout the area.

“Locals in Barradine and Coonabarrabran can expect at times throughout the day to clearly see and smell smoke,” she said.

“We are working with Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to reopen the Newell Highway between Narrabri and Coonabarrabran as soon as possible, but with smoke still visible in the area we are unsure at this stage when the road will reopen.”

RFS crews also attended two separate grass fires in Quirindi on Saturday.

The two fires on Pine Ridge Road and Ray Carter Drive were quickly brought under control by a local RFS crew’s and collectively only burnt 15 hectares of grass land.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology are expecting the hot weather to continue, with temperatures set to reach 40 degrees over the next three days.

For more information regarding active fires and creating a fire safety plan visit   www.rfs.nsw.gov.au and for more information about road closures and detours visit www.livetraffic.com. 

This story Pilliga fire proves to be a ‘challenging day’ for firies first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.

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