NSW fire warnings lowered, weather to ease

Australia
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Emergency warnings for two fires burning in northern NSW have been downgraded, with better firefighting conditions forecast in the coming days.

Watch-and-Act alerts were on Tuesday evening implemented for fires at Bees Nest near Armidale and Drake near Tenterfield.

The RFS says the 73,000-hectare Bees Nest fire has breached its containment lines and is burning towards homes and properties in the Billys Creek area.

NSW firefighters say they are battling "nightmare" fires across the state.

NSW firefighters say they are battling “nightmare” fires across the state.

AAP

Locals and those in Tyringham, Marengo, Moonpar, Dundurrabin and Bostobrick have been advised to enact their bushfire survival plans.

The fire at Drake – burning over 39,706ha – has also breached its containment lines and spread towards properties in Sandy Hill and Sandy Creek.

Sandy Hill residents are being told to be aware of the risk of smoke and embers, while those in Drake, Ewingar, Tilbaroo and areas west of Clarence River should deploy their bushfire action plans.

More favourable conditions are forecast for Wednesday, including lighter winds, but the RFS has warned the two blazes could burn for weeks.

New South Wales Rural Fire Service firefighter fight the Long Gully Road fire in the northern New South Wales.

New South Wales Rural Fire Service firefighter fight the Long Gully Road fire in the northern New South Wales.

AAP

At least nine homes and 34 outbuildings have been destroyed in bushfires across the state so far, with six homes damaged.

About 630 firefighters were in the field on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, firefighters have held off a bushfire on the NSW north coast where locals have spent the day feeling “helpless” to protect their homes.

The fire at Shark Creek, in the Clarence Valley south of Yamba, was a major concern for authorities as strong winds of more than 60km/h whipped up flames but has since been downgraded to an advice level.

The fire is now under control.

“The winds have been up all day, but we have been constantly hitting that fire with the large air tankers,” RFS Inspector Ben Shepherd told AAP.

Residents in the coastal villages of Angourie, Wooloweyah and Yamba were earlier warned to monitor the situation closely after the blaze breached containment lines overnight.

The Angourie Resort, south of Yamba, has been in the potential path of the fire since Monday.

Danielle, who runs the resort with her husband and parents, said they had evacuated their guests within an hour at lunchtime on Monday.

“You just feel so helpless, you just want to do something … (we’re) just sitting here waiting to get the news it’s burnt down,” she told AAP.

The fire has already burnt through more than 9300 hectares of bushland in the Yuraygir National Park.

Clarence Valley mayor Jim Simmons said he couldn’t remember the area being so dry and described conditions as “really terrible”.

“We haven’t seen anything like this in my lifetime,” he told AAP on Tuesday.

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