Fireys forced to act as paramedics in ‘danger zone’
Firefighters are being forced to act as paramedics because it is too dangerous for ambulance officers to go into fire zones.
NSW Ambulance Clarence Valley Inspector Scott Acton said the fires have been so bad at Nymboida, south west of Grafton, that RFS fireys have been transporting patients to safer locations before they are then put in ambulance vehicles and rushed to hospital.
"I have been in the ambos for 30 years and these fires are the most catastrophic that I have ever been exposed to," Insp Acton told The Sunday Telegraph.
"The amount of calls, the number of fires; it is unbelievable."
Mr Acton said three male patients were taken to Grafton Base Hospital Friday evening following a 5959ha fire at Nymboida south west of Grafton. This blaze is still out of control.
The fire is covering Nymbodia, Clouds Creek and Blaxlands Flat areas, and is within 100km of the Glenn Innes fires, which have killed two people.
A man in his 50s sustained serious burns to his legs while defending his Nymboida property Friday night.
Another man in his 30s was treated for smoke inhalation, while an elderly man was treated for heat exhaustion.
All the men were near Nymboida and all were trying to save their properties.
Grafton, north of Coffs Harbour, is currently surrounded by at least a dozen blazes, with fires to the south west by far the worst.
The fires are covering an area from Cangi to Ebor (a distance of 170km north to south) and Glenreagh to Wards Mistake (80km east to west).
Mr Acton said he is "really hoping" that the number of injuries remain low next week, when weather conditions worsen.
BUSHFIRE EMERGENCY - STATE OF PLAY
Two dead. A woman who was found unconscious with up to 50 per cent burns to her body, later died in hospital. Firefighters also found a body in a burnt-out vehicle near Kangawalla, about 10km east of Glen Innes. There are concerns for the welfare of several others. The fast-moving, emergency-warned fire breached containment lines on Friday and has burned more than 8,100 hectares. The fire has impacted Old Grafton Road in multiple locations. Residents evacuated to the local community hall. NSW RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said there were several calls for help at the height of the blaze. "We did our best to get firefighters to them," he said.
Property protection in underway near an emergency-warned fire in the Stockyard Flat, Spur Trail, Yarrowitch and Oxley Wild River National Park area. The out-of-control blaze has so far burned out more than 59,600 hectares. Winds are fanning the fire in an easterly direction towards Hastings Forest Way. There are fears the fire may join with two other nearby fires to become a mega-blaze. Residents have been urged to seek shelter.
PORT MACQUARIE - HASTINGS
A fast-moving fire that is spreading quickly in a south-easterly direction towards Ellenborough and Tilbaroo Crossing, and also burning to the north. The out-of-control fire has so far burned more than 8,500 hectares.
Bobin Public School has been destroyed with reports of multiple properties also damaged. The fire is burning north- west of the Wingham in the Tapin Tops National Park northwest of Taree. The fire has burnt more than 9,030 hectares. The fire broke containment lines on Friday, before moving towards Bobin, Marlee, Wingham, Killabahk and Lansdowne.
An emergency-warned bush fire is burning in the area of Hillville, south of Taree, and is spreading quickly. The fire is more than 12,300 hectares in size and is out of control. The fire is impacting on properties in the area of Old Bar and Wallabi Point. Firefighters have urged residents in these areas to seek shelter. Residents in Tinonee, Taree South, Purfleet, Rainbow Flat, Diamond Beach, Possum Brush, Tallwoods Village, Hallidays Point have been advised to monitor conditions. Evacuated residents are gathering at the Old Bar Bowling Club, Waterman Street, Old Bar. Multiple homes believed to be destroyed with fire conditions rendering many "unsaveable".
Firefighters working to protect homes against a bushfire burning near Clouds Creek State Forest, south east of Grafton. The fire is over 10,500 hectares and is out of control. While the conditions have eased, the fire is burning close to properties in the Glenreagh area. Residents have been urged to monitor conditions.
A bush fire is burning in the Goldens Road, Forster area. While close to properties, none are deemed under threat. The fire is currently 51 hectares in size and is being controlled.
Firefighters are working to protect homes from a bushfire burning in the Crowdy Bay National Park area. Kylies Beach and the Diamond Head camping area has been closed as has Crowdy Bay Road. The bushfire has burned some 10,400 hectares in size. While it is being controlled, the fire is spreading in a northerly westerly direction towards Johns River, Diamond Head, Laurieton and Dunbogan. It has already spread to the coast at Diamond Head and Johns River. Residents in the Johns River, Diamond Head, Crowdy Head, Harrington, Laurieton and Dunbogan have been advised to monitor conditions.
An out-of-control bush fire has breached containment lines and is burning in the Carrai Creek area. The fire is more than 119,500 hectares in size. The fire was burning towards Comara before a southerly change pushed the fire in a northerly direction. Residents in the area of Georges Junction, Lower Creek or Comara have been advised to monitor the situation.