RFS warns anyone in the area to evacuate immediately

There are two fires currently burning on the western side of the Carrai Plateau, just east of the Macleay River, and they were probably started by lightning strikes the Rural Fire Service (RFS) says.

"The fire is currently in the state conservation area, but there are definitely residences, more weekenders really, on the plateau," said RFS district officer Darren Marks.

"There is some danger because the fires are still on the side of the plateau and they haven't reached that area, but given the current conditions it is highly likely they will."

Time is running out for people to evacuate, according to Mr Marks.

"One of the big issues of the area is that there is only one road in and out, and as such the biggest risk would be trying to leave at the last minute and being on that forested road as the fire is coming through," he said.

"We've been trying to contact people directly, but as it is very remote, with limited phone reception, it is difficult.

"The general advice is that if you are unprepared and are going to leave then go now because in the next couple of hours the risk will probably be too much and you'll miss the opportunity."

One of the big issues of the area is that there is only one road in and out

Darren Marks RFS District Officer

RFS crews fighting the Rasberry Road Fire just on the other side of the Macleay River spotted the smoke columns this afternoon.

"We're struggling because it is such a remote area and our trucks are still en route," Mr Marks said.

"They should get there within an hour, and the crew's first priority is to find anyone and talk to people directly. We've also got a helicopter heading out there now to see if they can find anybody."

The fire is currently covering an area of about 12 hectares, but given the current conditions and remote location, the RFS expects it to spread rapidly.

"Frankly, it's going to be a challenge given the conditions we're experiencing this afternoon and the forecast for the next couple of days," Mr Marks said

"It's a matter of getting some people in there, and then we do have some options, there are a number of roads that we can use as control lines, but certainly at this point in time, we don't have anyone in the area able to do anything.

"The intention will be to stop it from reaching that plateau and any people or infrastructure in the region."

We're struggling because it is such a remote area and our trucks are still en route

Darren Marks RFS District Officer

The Carrai Creek fires are not the only ones to have started in the region since yesterday.

"To be honest I've lost count, but since last night we've had well in excess of a dozen fires pop up across the northern tablelands," Mr Marks said.

"We've managed to deal with most of them, but there are a few that have popped up this afternoon.

"There are these two at Carrai Creek, and we have crews at another one that popped up in the area of the Bees Nest Fire, and that is being brought under control. Now we're investigating some that have popped up around Tingha."

Mr Marks said there had been some beneficial rainfall on some of the fires, but overall the current weather is dire for fire.

"The weather is not doing us any favours, but we're managing across the firegrounds at the moment," he said.

"I encourage people to check the RFS Fires Near Me app and the RFS website regularly to keep up to date with what is happening."


Fire burning out of control near Carrai Creek

A fire is burning out of control in Carrai Creek to the south-east of Armidale in the Carrai National Park.

The 12-hectare fire is spreading on multiple fronts and at this stage, effective containment strategies are not in place for the entire perimeter.

The Rural Fire Service (RFS) has advised the fire may threaten isolated rural properties in Carrai. It warns anyone in the area should put their bush fire survival plan into action now to protect themselves and their family.

Earlier this afternoon the RFS reported it was seeing increasing fire danger across the northern parts of NSW, as high temperatures and strong winds set in.

Any new fires seen should be reported to Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Fires across the Northern Tablelands are being managed from the fire operations room in the $3.4M NSW Rural Fire Service fire control centre and brigade station in Glen Innes that opened last year.

This story Time is running out to evacuate people in the vicinity of the Carrai Creek Fire first appeared on The Armidale Express.