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May 26, 2024

Fire crews rally to protect Brunswick Heads from North Byron fire

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NSW fire authorities are directing ‘considerable resources’ to the Brunswick Heads area as the North Byron fire burns in a northerly direction through the Tyagarah Nature Reserve.

Fuelled by strong, gusting winds from the south, the fire has been given the status ‘out of control’ by the RFS having earlier been described as ‘being controlled’.

However, the alert level remains at ‘Advice’, which means that residents are advised to monitor conditions closely.

A fire helicopter battling the fire in the Tyagarah Nature Reserve. Image: Mullumbimby RFS

NSW fire commissioner Rob Rogers told ABC radio authorities had lots of resources on hand to protect properties in the Brunswick Heads area, including multiple trucks and helicopters.

‘We’re also hoping to get some air tankers to the area shortly,’ he said.

Commissioner Rogers said people who did not need to be in and around Brunswick Heads were being advised to stay away. 

‘There are strong gusting winds that are blowing the fire in a northerly direction,’ he said.

‘There is a large amount of heathland that is currently burning quite quickly because it’s a dry area.’ 

It’s hoped that the winds will drop off, but they are predicted to continue blowing into the evening and into tomorrow.

It’s also hoped that the fire will run out of fuel, given that it’s a relatively narrow strip of bush land.

‘It is proving problematic at the moment,’ Commissioner Rogers said of the fire.

The fire, which started near Habitat, off Bayshore Drive, has now been burning for more than 70 hours.

Earlier this afternoon it broke containment lines to the north side of Grays Lane, Tyagarah.

The fire started north of Byron Bay in bushland near Bayshore Drive and has continued to move north since then.

Stay tuned for more updates

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  1. The fire is now listed as Out of Control, and has burnt 348 ha. Currently burning behind the Bluesfest site. Simpson’s creek will hopefully help contain it, and hopefully the wind dies down.

  2. ““Byron fire still burning after 24 hours”………” this fire is not currently posing a threat” to whom or to what ?
    This is a sensitive coastal environment and the RFS are as useless as usual.”

    “Panda Nove October 17, 2023 At 3:19 pm

    On the weekend they said it was a planned fire and was under control??? Now it’s out of control”

    RFS useless AND dangerous !
    Cheers , G”)

    • How heroic! What a load of uninformed bollocks & guesswork. Obviously you don’t hold a hose either Ken?
      Just another loud keyboard warrior passing judgement without knowing Jack about fire suppression, & never having been a member of any firefighting agency. Quick lesson for the ignorant: Fires are uncontrollable under 50+ km/hr winds, especially when control lines are less than 48 hours old. The Grays Lane backburn was nearly 20 hours old, & held for approx 10 hours after the southerly change despite 90km/hr winds when the change hit. Today it gusted over 70km/hr. That wind speed even grounds choppers. Care to stand anywhere near this do you?

      Secondly, NO-ONE has EVER said it was either (a) a planned burn (which it wasn’t, it’s ARSON FFS!!, or at absolute best, an act of reckless indifference), nor (b) EVER said it was under control. It was “Being Controlled”. Big Difference. Ken, you & Panda can both look up what that might mean. Seems like you guys have plenty of time from the sanctity of your lounge-chairs.

      And FYI, it’s not just RFS vollies fighting this fire, the professionals from NPWS & FRNSW have been heavily involved & none can do it without the others…. so quit the sniping

    • Get your facts right you numpty the fire was started by an illegal camper and a bit more respect for volunteers would help your character building.

    • How dare you say the RFS is useless as usual! Every time they go out to a fire their lives are out at risk. They do a lot of training. They also understand fire behaviour. And a fire in dry bushland with strong hot winds can cause out of control fires within minutes. What an ungrateful man you seem to be.

    • Clearly it was not not a planned fire burn.
      Please check your facts.
      So thankful RFS was there to ensure the safety of residents and their properties.
      We are all devastated with the loss of Tyagarah Nature Reserve and the loss of our precious wild life if any have survived after their sanctuary was destroyed.
      Hopefully Wildlife cares can soon access as soon as it’s safe to do so.
      We are grieving what’s now lost but now look to what is being done to save lives, both human and animal, properties and habitat.
      Thank you to all involved, and especially Emergency Services and NPWS .

  3. Welcome to the new now animal free Tyagarah Nature Reserve.
    Who started the fire and why and when will they be severely prosecuted??

  4. If only the RFS could read a weather report that was predicting strong winds for today… Then maybe 3 days ago they would have “thrown considerable resources at it”

      • That is why you are supposed to have fire trails, pre-cleared to break up large section of scrub, and provide access for equipment. The people crying about animals now, are the ones that would block preparations before.

  5. If you think RFS is useless. Feel free to go and get in front of a wind driven fire and do better. These people put their lives on the line in increasingly dangerous conditions, most of them as volunteers, f… y.. Ken.

  6. We need more rangers! This is a very dangerous situation. A fire in those heathlands will smoulder for many months.
    It really is time to remove illegal campsites behind the dunes just north of Elements and monitor that strip regularly.
    It’s that time of year when the grapevine brings even more people north to swell the numbers of illegal campers around the shire.
    Pity fire hazards knowledge isn’t high on their skill list.

    • The public out reach can come later, right now you need to commandeer some dozers and build raised fire breaks. They stall the air close to the ground to prevent fire from jumping. If the fire is going through the ground, drop the blade down, and dig in. In QLD, we can commandeer any equipment from the public we need in a declared emergency. What’s lying around that you could use to make a hard break?

      • Obviously the IMT AND all the firefighters needed your insights. Give them your number, we need the expertise of someone 1,000km away

  7. Welcome to the new normal fire flood famine plant trees not houses time to re wild big scrub country red cedar regulates the weather and this is why we have the problem we have no red cedars left bar a few remnants get reforest now on the job to plant out that whole strip from belongil to Bruns with red cedar after the fire . I’m sure there was meant to be some luxury houses built on this strip just north of habit. Alan Mosley Yamba

    • If you look closely you will see it is unnecessary to state your name and town at the end of your comment. A small thing I know but if you wish to be taken seriously….
      You are a recidivist in this regard.

  8. If indeed it was an illegal camper that started the fire (and even if it wasn’t) then we are at great risk of this happening again. So many campers along that coastal strip with campfires fires that are just not being careful enough. Really just a ticking time bomb going into summer. A danger due to the lack of affordable housing in the area that could do some serious damage as we have witnessed this week…

    • Years worth of illegal “homeless”? campers all through the Cavanbah dunes. Now council even has a policy for homeless campers on Council managed land. Way past time to move all to the safety of Red Devils park. This fire clearly demonstrates the danger of that policy

  9. Ah the immigration refrain again, Christian!

    A long term press gallery journalist very astute observer of the political sphere wrote recently, “ Dutton has shown a predilection for inflammatory language. He did it on the Voice, and he has done it on the Middle East despite a rare and obvious caution from the head of ASIO, Mike Burgess, to cool it.

    “ Dutton flagged his intention to use immigration most clearly in his Budget reply speech in May where he said net overseas migration of 1.5 million over five years would worsen cost of living and inflation.

    “ It is the issue most ripe for exploitation because it can feed into every grievance and every prejudice including from migrants. Houses too expensive? Roads too congested? Can’t find a job or get a hospital bed? Whatever ails you, blame immigration. And, of course, Albanese.” Niki Savva Age/SMH Oct 19

    You’re certainly playing by the handbook.


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