February 12, 2019 16:03:08
The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has issued emergency warnings for blazes burning near the Tingha Plateau, in the northern tablelands, and another on the Bruxner Highway, in the far north-east.
- Properties between Lake Copeton and Tingha are under threat
- Firefighters have been unable to slow the spread of fire and additional crews are being sent to the area
- Today is the first total fire ban for NSW this year
The blaze around Tingha is spreading quickly and is threatening properties between Lake Copeton and Tingha.
Emergency alert warnings are being sent to mobile phones in the area, and the RFS said the fire had the potential to reach Tingha this afternoon.
Firefighters and aircraft have been unable to slow the spread of the fire, which is about 160 kilometres north of Tamworth.
Additional firefighters are being sent to the area to protect properties.
RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the fire was less than 10 kilometres from the town.
“There’s every prospect that if it keeps burning the way it is it could reach the township of Tingha later tonight,” he said.
Winds gusts are around 70-80 kilometres per hour and set to strengthen as the day goes on.
“This is shaping up to be one of the worst weather days for fires this season for sure,” Mr Fitzsimmons said.
Tingha has a population of around 2,000.
There is a statewide total fire ban in NSW today as temperatures soar — the fire danger around Tingha was today rated as “severe” as the mercury rose to 36 degrees Celsius.
The RFS has warned people in the area to seek shelter if the fire impacts on their property.
Thunderbolts Way and Bundarra Road are now closed.
Students from Gilgai Public School are being taken to Inverell State School.
February 12, 2019 14:24:26