A huge bushfire that threatened the village of Nymboida around the Glens Creek Road area for 16 days, which at one stage created its own pyro cumulonimbus weather system producing lightning, has been contained by Emergency Services after it scorched more than 12,700 hectares of bushland.
Clarence Valley Rural Fire Service Superintendent Stuart Watts said the investigation into what started the fire on Sunday, October 22 was being finalised, but unfortunately three homes and 16 outbuildings were destroyed.
“On that Sunday afternoon the situation escalated very quickly, given how dry the environment was, the fire went to a Watch and Act status, then an emergency warning was issued to shelter in place shortly afterwards,” he said.
“By the following Tuesday we had it pretty well contained but we were aware of some quite warm, dry conditions coming through on the Wednesday, so the decision was made not to introduce any more backburns and consolidate what we had.”
Superintendent Watts said the erratic dry conditions saw the fire generate its own thunderstorm with lightning detected at Halfway Creek on Wednesday, October 25.
“This saw the fire blow out to about 9000 hectares in size, from there it was identified that a number of properties that came under attack were either destroyed or damaged,” he said.
“Our Building Impact Assessment Teams were deployed to the Nymboida fire ground, and they identified that three house were lost and 16 outbuildings or sheds were destroyed.”
Without the significant aerial resources brought in to battle the blaze, the Nymboida area could have seen a repeat of the devastating 2019-20 Black Summer fires when 85 homes were destroyed.
Superintendent Watts said the fire was officially contained on Tuesday, November 7, after burning 12,750 hectares of bushland around Nymboida and the Shannon Creek Dam.
He said Clarence Valley RFS brigades worked tirelessly for several weeks on the fire, and they were supported by RFS brigades from Coffs Harbour and in the later stages a 14-person team from Tasmania arrived to relieve local fire fighters.
“The last few days we have been focusing on containing hotspots that have been identified through our infrared mapping processes, also we have revisited places where we have had heavy machinery to “make good” those areas,” he said.
“On a positive environmental note, we saved a colony of trees that is unique to the Chambigne area, we invested a lot of time to save these plants that are unique to the National Park.”
Anyone who suffered stock or property losses from the fire is advised to contact Local Land Services on 6604 1100 or Service NSW on 13 77 88.