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Byron Shire
May 16, 2021

Human remains found after Long Gully Rd bushfire

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Police have located human remains at a home destroyed in the Long Gully Road bushfire in Coongbar, a fire which has been burning for several weeks.

Officers from Richmond Police District have been investigating the whereabouts of a 77-year-old man and 69-year-old woman from Coongbar, 70km south-west of Casino.

Last night (Wednesday 9 October 2019), NSW Police, RFS, NSW Fire and Rescue and SES personnel attended their home on Deadman Creek Road, Coongbar, and found it had been destroyed by fire.

This morning (Thursday 10 October 2019), NSW Police and specialist forensic officers returned to the home and, a short time ago, remains were located inside the property.

A post-mortem examination will be conducted to determine identity and cause of death; however, the families of the missing man and woman are being kept apprised of developments by police.

The Long Gully Road fire has been burning for more than a month; fire investigators have determined the blaze was caused by a lightning strike.

Hundreds of NSW Rural Fire Service and NSW Fire and Rescue crews have been battling two separate bushfires on Long Gully Road and Busbys Flat Road, Busbys Flat. The ‘Busbys Flat’ fire started last Friday (4 October 2019).

Assessment of areas impacted by this week’s bush fires

NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Building Impact Assessment teams have continued their assessment of areas impacted by this week’s bush fires in northern NSW.

More than 450 surveys of homes, buildings and other structures have now been completed.

At this stage, 29 homes have been confirmed destroyed. This number is expected to increase as assessments continue.

Confirmed property losses are: 29 homes destroyed, nine damaged, 137 in the direct area of the fire saved; two community facilities including a hall destroyed, seven damaged, and; 72 outbuildings destroyed, 23 damaged

 Of the homes destroyed, 21 were due to the Busbys Flat Road fire. Eight were destroyed in the Long Gully Road fire.

Assessment teams will continue their inspection of fire-affected areas tomorrow.

So far this bush fire season, more than 70 homes have been destroyed by bush fires in NSW.

If they haven’t already done so, residents who live in the impacted areas should visit the Register.Find.Reunite website (https://register.redcross.org.au) and select ‘Northern NSW Bushfires’ to register their current location.

Members of the public are reminded to delay all non-essential travel in fire-affected areas. Those who must enter the impacted area should be aware of dangers such as damaged powerlines and the possibility of asbestos in fire-damaged properties.

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