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Towns asked to evacuate amid out of control fires



Supplied video obtained Friday, November 8, 2019 of red skies above at Port Macquarie. Hot, windy conditions are wreaking havoc as bushfires burn out of control across parts of NSW, with emergency warnings in place across the state. (AAP Video / Supplied / high_visionn) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

The fires near Forster. Picture credit: Jacki Pocock / Facebook
The fires near Forster. Picture credit: Jacki Pocock / Facebook

At least four houses have been destroyed in NSW and Queensland as out-of-control bushfires engulf communities from Forster to Noosa.

Two homes have been lost in Coraki, a small historic town south of Lismore, while a Queensland fire has claimed two homes in Tewantin on the Sunshine Coast.

Well understood as many as 20 homes may have been lost in the fire at Bobin.

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"We have reports of multiple buildings and facilities being destroyed or damaged," a NSW Rural Fire Service spokesman said.

"We will be sending impact assessment teams out in the morning."

Emergency services have also received panicked calls from multiple people trapped in their homes at several locations across the mid-north coast of NSW.

A historic school in the town of Bobin, southwest of Port Macquarie, has also been reportedly affected by bushfires and possibly destroyed.

Local residents sheltering in their homes in Bobin are sharing details about the catastrophic blaze on social media.

A raging bushfire gets dangerously close to homes at The Gap in Brisbane.

"The school is on fire, multiple homes are on fire," one resident posted on Facebook.

"Just heard 'major call' for Bobin Creek School, now on fire as I type this."

"Bobin School is gone," another posted.

Many understood as many as 14 homes may have been lost in the fire at Bobin.

"We have reports of multiple buildings and facilities being destroyed or damaged," a NSW Rural Fire Service spokesman said.

"We will be sending impact assessment teams out in the morning."

A huge fire approaches Harrington north east of Sydney on Friday evening.
A huge fire approaches Harrington north east of Sydney on Friday evening.

Some blazes are so powerful they are now creating their own weather systems and fire crews are unable to reach some locations due to the ferocity of the flames.

The NSW RFS has acknowledged on Twitter that some communities are being forced to fend for themselves.

"Today has been a difficult and dangerous day."

"Unfortunately, many people have called for help but due to the size and speed of the fires we can get to everyone, even by road or helicopter."

The devastation is not confined to NSW.

Red haze at Port Macquarie as bushfires ravage the region. Picture: Nine News
Red haze at Port Macquarie as bushfires ravage the region. Picture: Nine News

In Queensland, 40 blazes are burning across the state and one is out of control.

Tewantin in Noosa was evacuated shortly before 6pm on Friday evening after an out-of-control fire swept through the suburb.

Police also declared an emergency at Cooroibah in Noosa where more than 50 fire crews are responding to an out-of-control blaze that is threatening homes.

Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington has warned residents to "leave now" because authorities are "not sure what the fire will do".

“This is our third batch of fire in two months. There were significant fires that impacted on Peregian and Marcus Beach … The extraordinary thing is that this looks like it's going to be the new normal for Queensland, "Mr Wellington told ABC TV.

An Aircrane water bombing helicopter drops water on a bushfire in Harrington, north east of Sydney on Friday.
An Aircrane water bombing helicopter drops water on a bushfire in Harrington, north east of Sydney on Friday.

"The bush is brittle … Queensland fires are just as hostile as the fires down south now."

An evacuation center has been established at Noosa Leisure Center, Wallace Drive, Noosaville.

Meanwhile, fast-moving bushfires are still bearing down on multiple communities across NSW.

RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said NSW is in "uncharted territory".

"Unfortunately we are in uncharted territory – we have never seen this many fires concurrently at an emergency warning level," he said.

“Very dynamic, very volatile and very dangerous set of situations that we are experiencing.

"About 370,000 hectares of fire right now are burning in NSW, which is more than the entire area burned last year."

The RFS has deployed more than 1,000 firefighters and 270 trucks to fight fires, protect homes and secure evacuation routes along major roads.

Mid Coast Councilor David West has described the bushfires he witnessed near Taree as "horrifying and horrendous beasts".

"From my personal perspective, it's terrifying," Mr West said on Friday.

"Never felt a sense of anguish that I do now, the fear for my community … literally a wall of yellow, horrible, beastly, tormenting flames."

A red haze has descended over much of Port Macquarie where residents are being warned to stay indoors.

"Some (fires) are creating their own weather conditions and pyrocumulous clouds are developing," the RFS said on Friday evening.

An unprecedented 17 emergency warnings were issued at the height of the crisis, the most ever in a single day in NSW.

The out-of-control blazes stretched from just north of Forster to the west of Tenterfield near the Queensland border.

A burning blaze at Hillville, south of Taree, has forced the closure of the Pacific Highway in both directions between Taree and Bulahdelah.

Five emergency warnings have been issued for burning bushfires in northern NSW.

The latest warnings are for two fires near Forster and Hillville on the mid-north coast.

Those in the areas are advised to seek shelter.

Emergency warnings have been issued for the following 16 out of control bushfires:

Riches Avenue, Woodford, Blue Mountains

An out of control fire is burning south of the Great Western Highway in the Woodford area.

Areas affected: Leumeah Road, Park Road, Mona Road and Riches Avenue

Hillville Rd, Hillville, southwest of Taree, Mid North Coast

A bush fire is burning in the Hillville area, south of Taree, and is spreading rapidly in an easterly direction. The fire is more than 1,100 hectares in size and has crossed the Pacific Highway.

Areas affected: Rainbow Flat, Diamond Beach, Possum Brush, Tallwoods Village, Halliday Point. Crews are conducting property protection east of the Pacific Highway and Lakes Way, Failford Road, and Tallwoods areas.

Crossing Bills, Crowdy Bay National Park, north of Old Bar and east of Taree, Mid North Coast

A bush fire is burning in the Crowdy Bay National Park area, towards Crowdy Head. The fire has burned more than 6,500 hectares and continues to spread northeast of the Johns River towards Diamond Head, Laurieton and Dunbogan, and toward the Harrington area. Firefighters and water bombing aircraft are working to protect homes.

Areas affected: People in Crowdy Head and Harrington should seek shelter. Those in Laurieton and Dunbogan should leave now if safe. Those in Diamond Head should watch for smoke and embers.

Rumba dump, Tapin Tops National Park, northwest of Taree, Mid North Coast

A bush fire is burning northwest of Wherrol Flat Village in Tapin Tops National Park, where it has broken containment lines and is moving rapidly towards Bobin, Marlee and Wingham. The fire has burnt more than 1,800 hectares.

Areas affected: Bobin, Marlee, Wingham.

Lindfield Park Road, Port Macquarie, Mid North Coast

A bush fire is burning out of control near the Pacific Highway to the west of Port Macquarie and has burned more than 700 hectares. It has crossed the Pacific Highway at Thrumster.

Areas affected: Thrumster, Sovereign Hills.

Stockyard Flat, southeast of Walcha, between Tamworth and Port Macquarie

A bush fire is burning in the Stockyard Flat, Spur Trail, Yarrowitch, Oxley Wild River National Park area. The fire is more than 33,900 hectares in size. It is burning in an easterly direction towards Pappinburra, Birdwood and Forbes River, and has merged with the Doyles River fire in the east.

Areas affected: north of Oxley Highway and Forbes River.

Jacobs Spur, Willi Willi, between Walcha and Kempsey

An emergency warning is in place for the Willi Willi area due to a bush fire. The fire has burned more than 4,100 hectares and is burning towards Toorumbee Road.

Affected areas: Bellbrook.

Carrai Creek, between Walcha and Kempsey

A bush fire is burning in the Carrai Creek area. The fire is more than 47,600 hectares in size. It has breached containment lines on the northern side of the Lower Creek area, and is burning in an easterly direction toward Comara.

Affected areas: Lower Creek, Comara.

Kian Road and Fortescue Creek, west of Bowraville

An emergency warning is in place for a fire burning bush to the west of Bowraville that has so far burned more than 1,815 hectares and breached containment lines due to strong winds. It is burning erratically towards the South Arm and McHughs Creek area and spreading rapidly. Another nearby fire at Fortescue Creek is burning in the Mistake State Forest and spreading in multiple directions.

Affected areas: South Arm and McHughs Creek

Schultz Road, Tyringham, north of Dundurrabin and northwest of Coffs Harbor

A bush fire is burning in the Schultz Road, Tyringham area. The fire has burned more than 1,000 hectares and is spreading rapidly in a south-easterly direction toward Billys Creek due to strong, gusty winds.

Affected areas: Billys Creek

Muck Creek, Clouds Creek State Forest, northwest of Coffs Harbor and southwest of Grafton

A bush fire is burning in the Clouds Creek State Forest area, southwest of Grafton. The fire has burned more than 3,600 hectares and is spread over several fronts due to dangerous fire weather conditions.

Affected areas: Nymboida River

Liberation Trail, Chaelundi State Forest and Marara State Forest, west of Nymboida, southwest of Grafton

The fire has burned more than 17,000 hectares west of Nymbodia and south of the Boyd River. It is spreading rapidly in an easterly direction towards Nymboida.

Affected areas: Nymboida, including Armidale Road, Glens Greek Road and Frickers Road.

Wandsworth, southwest of Glen Innes

The fire has burnt more than 3900 hectares and is spreading rapidly in an easterly direction towards Ben Lomond.

Affected areas: Wandsworth, Ben Lomond.

Kangawalla, Eimers Road, Shannon Vale, east of Glen Innes

The fire has burnt more than 2,500 hectares in the Shannon Vale area. It has breached containment lines and is burning in an easterly direction towards the Mann River.

Affected areas: Shannon Vale, Wytabliba, Mann River.

Gulf Road, Torrington, southwest of Tenterfield

A bush fire is burning in the Gulf Road, Torrington area. The fire has burned more than 45,600 hectares and is out of control. Multiple locations on Silent Grove Road and at Torrington have been impacted. Firefighters are conducting property protection exercises and are using water bombing aircraft at both locations.

Affected areas: Torrington, Silent Grove, Wolfram Hill, Tungsten, Maids Valley, Mole River.

Myall Creek Road, Bora Ridge, west of Evans Head

An emergency warning is in place for a bush fire burning in the area of ​​Myall Creek Rd, Bora Ridge. The fire is spreading rapidly.

Affected areas: Myall Creek Road, Bungawalbin-Whiporie Road at Bora Ridge.

With AAP

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