FIFTEEN people were airlifted out of the Willi Willi area, south-west of Kempsey, over the weekend after fire conditions turned dangerous due to a sudden change in weather.
The group of evacuees consisted of National Parks personnel, Rural Fire Service members and heavy plant operators.
Evacuation by air became necessary after the fire crossed the only available road.
One resident refused to leave, and according to the Kempsey Rural Fire Service Control Centre, it is still too dangerous for crews to return and assess the full damage to any properties. Preliminary reports suggest several outer buildings and sheds may have been damaged or destroyed.
The fire has covered a 1668 ha area and is listed as 'being controlled'.
Residents are advised to avoid the area and keep an eye on the situation through the Fires Near Me App or the Rural Fire Service website.
If in doubt, or if you have plans to travel through the area, contact the Kempsey Rural Fire Station Centre on 6562 1964 to check for the latest information.
Advice: Monitor conditions in your area.
Check and follow your Bush Fire Survival Plan. If you do not have a plan, decide what you will do if the situation changes. Leaving early is your safest option.
Due to the increased risk from fires, and because resources are becoming quite stretched, a strike team from Victoria is currently inbound and expected later today. Section 44 of the Rural Fires Act 1997 has been implemented, and personnel from around the country are assisting.
The next few days are expected to have severe fire weather, and everyone is reminded to report any smoke or signs of fire immediately.
- If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.
- Continue to stay up to date with the bush fire situation by checking http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, listening to your local radio station or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679-737.
- If you live in the area but are away from home, it may not be safe to return to your property.
- For information on road closures, check http://livetraffic.rta.nsw.gov.au. Roads may be closed without warning.
Jacobs Spur fire
The fire is burning in the Willi Willi National Park approximately 30km west of Kempsey and to the south of Bellbrook, in remote area to the west of McCoys Creek. It has burnt out 2909 hectares and is listed as under control. Residents are advised to monitor the situation.