Rain in Bellingen Shire both helped and hinder firefighting efforts

Those beautiful drops of rain that fell last night (Wednesday) around the shire (Dorrigo 18mm) both help and a hinder firefighters who are working on containing the Andersons Creek fire, which is now over 12,000ha in size.

RFS Mid North Coast Team manager Sean McArdle said while there was no significant rain, what fell helped settle things and fire is currently fairly benign.

"But there was enough moisture in what did fall to prevent us getting the backburns in that we wanted to," Mr McArdle said.

"We have identified a containment strategy that includes 42 kilometres of backburning in different areas, the main aim of which is to keep the fire out of the Kalang."

He said with today's conditions those crews that could be rested were doing so, while others were assisting with trail preparations and strengthening the hard containment lines on Wyembah Rd and Middle Ridge Rd alongside NPWS and Forests NSW

"We are doing this with a view to backburning whenever the conditions are favourable. As soon as that begins our crews will be very active as that work will be extremely resource heavy."

He said locally crews continued to assist and advise property owners regarding the preparations of their homes in the light of the fire threat.

"Up in the Kalang, local group captain John Worrad has been out talking to people as much as possible and whenever crews are working near homes, they drop in for a chat."

He said considering crews had been working on fires now for 13 weeks, everyone was going "pretty well" and taking the opportunities to rest whenever possible.

"Managing that fatigue is the most important thing because this looks like it will be going on into the New Year - we need at least 150mm of rain across the fire ground to really put an end to this."

Thunderstorm activity yesterday ignited a fire at Water Gum Creek near Dorrigo. The fire is being actively managed and resourced.

The RFS warns with storm activity, there is a high potential for further new fires to be detected in the coming days - if you detect a fire, call Triple 0 immediately.

Advice continues to be for everyone to monitor conditions and leaving early is always the safest option.

Bellingen Shire Council staff will be at the Scotchman Brigade Station, 649 Kalang Rd between noon and 4pm to discuss issues with residents.

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