32 homes lost as NSW bushfires rage on

NSW emergency personnel are still working to control bushfires in the state’s north, which have destroyed at least 74,750 hectares and 32 homes. And a severe fire danger forecast has been issued today for the Upper Hunter Region due to strong winds and dry and hot conditions, the NSW Rural Fire Service says. A total fire ban has been declared for the northwestern and northern slopes tomorrow as the outlook continues for more strong winds and hot, dry weather. The Wallangarra blaze near the Queensland border registered “an increase of fire activity” this afternoon and residents in the area have been told to be ready to take action if their properties are at risk. “Last night, crews undertook backburning operations which saw an increase in fire activity and smoke produced. Residents in the Jennings, Tenterfield, Bryans Gap and Black Swamp areas may see an increase and smoke and fire activity as these burns continue,” the Rural Fire Service says. It has raised its advice for the Wallangarra fire to a Watch and Act level. The bushfire in Tabulam in the state’s far northeast is still burning as firefighters continue to focus their containment efforts on the southwestern side of the fire ground. “Today, heavy plant and waterbombing aircraft will continue working to establish and strengthen containment lines around the fire,” the fire service says. Firefighters remain in position to protect homes if required. Fire crews managed to contain the blaze at Tingha Plateau yesterday, but some fire activity on on the fire ground near Copeton Dam remains. The fire, which started on February 10, has burned more than 23,300 hectares and destroyed 13 houses. Residents have been advised to “remain vigilant and be ready to take action” if the fire flares up again. 

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