7AM Thursday : It was a nervous night for many Tuncurry residents but cooler conditions and light rain are aiding firefighters.
At around 2am the predicted southerly wind change whipped the fire up that was burning on the western side of the Lakes Way, fanning it in a northerly direction.
“It ran up towards the transfer station where crews were waiting for it and dealt with it,” explained district officer with the MidCoast unit of the NSW Rural Fire Service Stuart Robb.
While Mr Robb explained there was no risk to property at any time, the large flames in the middle of the night with the southerly wind change were obviously a frightening sight and two residents on the western side of The Lakes Way self evacuated.
The Lakes Way is currently open and crews will work throughout the day to bring the fires under control.
The Lakes Way has once again been opened to traffic after earlier being closed due to a bushfire.
While the road has been opened, authorities are urging motorists to drive with extreme caution.
Heavy smoke in the area has forced the closure once again of The Lakes Way between Failford Road and Grandis Drive.
Live Traffic NSW has advised the road will remain closed until at least 5.30pm.
Motorists are urged to avoid non-essential travel.
Heavy smoke also is affecting The Lakes Way at Bulahdelah and motorists are advised to avoid the area.
The Lakes Way between Failford Road and Grandis Drive has re-opened, but the RFS advised the road may close again at short notice.
Also, motorists are advised to exercise caution.
Following advice from both the SES and RFS, students and staff from Great Lakes College junior and senior campuses and TAFE, Tuncurry were evacuated with assistance from local police officers.
Fires continue to burn in the Great Lakes this afternoon with The Lakes Way closed between Failford Rd and Tuncurry due to the Aerodrome Road fire at Nabiac.
NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Mid Coast District have closed part of the Lakes Way and updated the current state of the Aerodrome Road fire to Watch and Act.
Meanwhile a grass fire is burning out of control in Manns Road, Darawank, while another out-of-control bush fire is burning along The Lakes Way, near the tip at Tuncurry and another at Dargavilles Road, Nabiac.
The RFS is in attendance at all fires, but it is not known at this time how many hectares have burnt or if there are any losses.
NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Mid Coast District is urging people in bush fire prone areas to be prepared and remain vigilant, with hot, dry and windy conditions forecast for today (Wednesday, September 13) with fires already burning in the region.
A total fire ban has been declared for today (Wednesday, September 13).
“The forecast high temperatures, in excess of 30 degrees along with strong winds means there is an increased risk of fires and it’s important that the community understands the risk and prepares accordingly,” RFS district manager, superintendent Kam Baker said.
Current fire activity in the Mid Coast region: Four fires are being controlled and nine are listed as patrol.
Old Inn Road, Bulahdelah – Fire started at 2:16pm on Sunday, September 10 and has so far burnt more than 25ha on private property and National Park. Crews from NSW RFS and National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) are working to bring the fire under control. There is currently no threat to property.
Aerodrome Road, Nabiac – Fire started at 8:26pm on Tuesday, September 5, requiring support by aerial water bombing for five days to bring the fire under control. It has burnt 1662ha. On Tuesday afternoon (September 12) the fire breached the north western containment lines and was brought under control by ground crews.
There has been a recent report of a fire at Dargavilles Road, Nabiac but the RFS is awaiting further information from fire crews on the ground.
Your Bush Fire Survival Plan
The Mid North Coast is currently experiencing weather conditions that have not been seen in the area for a number of years.
High temperatures, and the lack of rain have increased the risk of fires, a timely reminder for Mid Coast resident to ensure their bush fire survival plan is up to date.
There are four simple steps to get ready for a bush fire;
1. Discuss what to do if a bush fire threatens your home
2. Prepare your home and get it ready for the bush fire season
3. Know the bush fire alert levels
4. Keep all the bush fire information numbers, websites and the smartphone app.
This weekend is the NSW Rural Fire Service “Get Ready Weekend” a number of brigades across the district will be open to the public over the weekend providing a great opportunity for you to have a discussion with your local brigade on how to best prepare and protect your home from bushfires.
You can download your bush fire survival plan from https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/bush-fire-survival-plan