Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Residents have been told it’s too late to leave, seek shelter now, as a large out of control bushfire continues to burn in the Pilliga Forrest.

The Rural Fire Service is working round the clock to keep people and properties safe and reduce the risk.

“We’ve got an outbreak to the north just above McCanns road,” said Kate Carter, Publis Liason Officer NSW Rural Fire Service.

“We are doing property protection in there and we have aircraft waterbombing the area.”

“On the other side of the fire, the eastern side, its still in the Pilliga but the weather is pushing it towards farmlands near Willala and Goolhi and Baan Baa.”

The fire remains out of control and has already burnt more than 80 thousand hectares.

Residents of Duck Creek within the Pilliga Forest, 18 kilometres south of Narrabri and 28 kilometres west of Boggabri, were escalated from evacuation to seek shelter this afternoon.

“For those near the north, an emergency warning has gone out to shelter in place, it’s too late to leave, that is due to the heavy smoke and very poor visibility,” said Kate.

To the east, advice for residents is to remain vigilant as embers may be blown long distances ahead of the main fire front, causing spot fires, and presenting a serious risk.

“The fire itself hasn’t crossed our trigger line for shelter in place to the east, it is just the ember attacks.”

What you need to do

Bohena Creek

If you are in the area of Bohena Creek, between McCanns Road, Perimeter Road, Tomlinson Lane and Newell Highway your life is at risk. It is too late to leave, seek shelter now or as the fire approaches in a solid structure such as a house. Do not be caught in the open in the path of the fire.

Actively monitor the situation.

A safer location may include a well cleared area nearby.

If you planned to visit the area or live in the area but are away from home, do not return.

Jacks Creek, Baan Baa, Wynella, Willala and Goolhi

If you are in the area of Jacks Creek, Baan Baa, Wynella, Willala and Goolhi, stay alert and monitor your surroundings.

Watch out for emergency services personnel and follow their directions.

Keep an eye out for burning embers, changes in wind direction and smoke.

Have your bushfire survival plan ready to be actioned.

Bring pets indoors and restrain them, close all doors and windows and turn off air conditioners, keep water running if possible.

Be careful outdoors after the fire has passed as trees can be unstable and fall.

If your life is at risk, call 000.

Evacuation Centres
An evacuation centre has been set up at Narrabri’s The Crossing Theatre, 117 Tibbereena Street.

“There is no going back onto the fire ground once you have left, it is too dangerous, so we do suggest you go to The Crossing Theatre,”

“On the eastern side they are setting up an evacuations centre at the Gunndah PCYC.”

Roads closed

The Newell Highway remains closed in both directions between Narrabri and Coonabarabran due to the bushfire at The Pilliga.

The diversion for B-doubles and light vehicles is via Oxley Highway, Grain Valley Road and Kamilaroi Highway to Boggabri.

Vehicles larger than B-doubles, should divert via Gunnedah instead.

Continue to allow plenty of extra travel time and monitor Live Traffic for updates: https://www.livetraffic.com/incident-details/178575

What’s to Come

“The fire is creating its own weather down there, we are very hopeful for some decent rain by Wednesday but it will need to be decent to give us any relief.” said Kate.

“If you see any unattended fire, please call 000, do not enter any of the fire grounds, it is far too dangerous and have your bushfire survival plan ready to go and be prepared to action it.”

For more information or to find out what your current advice is, please visit the NSW Rural Fire Services website, see the Hazards near me app, or call the Bushfire Information Line 1800 679 737.

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