Big Hill Trail fire rips back to life

Current Situation

The fire is being pushed by north easterly winds in a south westerly direction towards the Maria River and Hastings River.

With more favourable conditions overnight, firefighters were able to continue backburning operations. This will continue today with a focus on strengthening containment lines ahead of an expected southerly wind change later this afternoon.

Residents in the vicinity of Maria River Rd, Tarcoola Rd, Plomer Rd, Riverside Dr, North Shore, Blackmans Point, Fernbank Creek, The Hatch and Illa Langi are advised to monitor the situation and conditions due to an increase in fire activity. Residents in these areas are also likely to experience ash and possible embers.

There is no immediate threat to homes however, residents are advised to follow their bush fire survival plan and take direction from firefighters in the area.

Maria River Rd is closed between Crescent Head Rd and Shoreline Dr. The M1 Pacific Highway is open however smoke is drifting across the road in the vicinity of Telegraph Point.

Smoke produced by the fire and backburning will be visible throughout today and smoke is likely to be seen across parts of the Mid North Coast throughout today.

Please only report new unattended fires, not just sighting of smoke in this area, to Triple Zero (000).

Photo: Lisa Nicalah Sophiah

Photo: Lisa Nicalah Sophiah

Advice

Residents are advised to monitor conditions in their area.

Check and follow your Bush Fire Survival Plan. If you do not have a plan, decide what you will do if the situation changes. Leaving early is your safest option.

Well prepared and actively defended homes can offer safety during a fire.

A water bombing aircraft over the North Shore. Photo: Michael Walsh.

A water bombing aircraft over the North Shore. Photo: Michael Walsh.

Smoke Advisory

Smoke from this fire is currently impacting a large area. Under south easterly winds smoke may be visible along the mid north coast stretching from Crescent Head to Port Macquarie, Wauchope, Taree, Laurieton, Moorland, Krambach and as far as Nabiac.

NSW Health reminds people that children, older adults and people with heart and lung conditions are most susceptible to the effects of air pollution and excessive smoke.

If you have asthma or a lung condition, reduce outdoor activities if smoke levels are high and if shortness of breath or coughing develops, take your reliever medicine or seek medical advice.

Asthma sufferers need to follow their Asthma Action Plan and take their relieving medication where necessary. If symptoms get worse, seek medical advice. Further advice is available from the Asthma Foundation website.

Dramatic scenes over North Shore as the Nancy Bird swoops with water. Photo: Liam Bisco

Dramatic scenes over North Shore as the Nancy Bird swoops with water. Photo: Liam Bisco

Here are some tips to stay safe when smoke is in the area:

Keep doors and windows closed to prevent smoke from entering your home.

Remove washing from clotheslines.

Ensure pets have a protected area.

If you’re driving through a smoky area, slow down, keep your windows up and turn your headlights on.

Don’t call Triple Zero just to report that it’s smoky. Save Triple Zero for emergencies.

View over the Port Macquarie canals. Photo: Helen McGee

View over the Port Macquarie canals. Photo: Helen McGee

Other Information

If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Continue to stay up to date with the bush fire situation by checking http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, listening to your local radio station or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679-737.

If you live in the area but are away from home, it may not be safe to return to your property.

For information on road closures, check http://livetraffic.rta.nsw.gov.au. Roads may be closed without warning.