Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t possibly be worse, New South Wales has recorded it’s first major blaze of the bushfire season.
The fire, located near Duranbah in the state’s north-east, is the first fire to require the deployment of water bombers in the 2020-21 bushfire season. In addition to the water bombers, at least six trucks and a number of fire crews were sent to fight the blaze.
Advice: Pacific Hwy, Duranbah (Tweed LGA). While conditions overnight eased, stronger NW winds are forecast to strengthen today. Those in the area of Clothiers Ck Rd, Forest Hill Rd and Tanglewood areas should monitor conditions and take advice from firefighters in area. #NSWRFS pic.twitter.com/sAgGS2K87V
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) August 19, 2020
“It’s the first response [involving water-bombers] for a fire of a bigger scale,” NSW Rural Fire Services spokeswoman Angela Daly told SMH.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the fire had burned through roughly 180 hectares of grass and swampland south of the Queensland border.
The Duranbah blaze was one of ten fires burning in the state on Wednesday, which is significantly less than the average of “about 50 fires a day” this time last bushfire season, according to the RFS.
New South Wales has recorded 702 bush, grass and scrub fires so far since July 1. Thankfully, this number is significantly lower than last year’s figure that recorded a whopping 2224 fires in the same period of time.
This was the Duranbah fire at 0900 yesterday and just saw water bombing helicopter fly overhead. Visibility in the Tweed Valley is pretty limited.
Stay safe all and hopefully not a precursor for the upcoming summer pic.twitter.com/FkGyLf9S7f
— Yale Carden (@CardenYale) August 20, 2020
Although RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers told 2GB that the state is in a much better place than it was last year, there is “still quite a lot of bush to burn”, which is a concern for firefighters heading into bushfire season.
As it currently stands, the Duranbah bushfire poses no immediate risk to local residents, however locals are advised to monitor conditions and follow the advice of firefighters in the area.
If you haven’t already, now is the time to review your bushfire action plan before the season officially kicks off on October 1.