Emergency warning in place for Tingha

Live blog of Tingha fire emergency near Inverell


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RFS warns to check and follow Bush Fire Survival Plan.

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UPDATE:

A Rural Fire Service (RFS) update has confirmed the blaze is spreading quickly towards Tingha’s township.

Residents who feel unprepared are encouraged to evacuate if the path is clear.

Tingha Primary School and Recreation Reserve, on the corner of Garnet and Ruby Street, is a Neighbourhood Safer Place open for people to seek shelter.

An immediate threat has been issued to properties between Lake Copeton and Tingha as firefighters and aircraft work to slow the fire.

“If your plan is to stay with your property, make your final preparations now. Ensure you know what you will do if the fire reaches your location,” an RFS update read.

Thunderbolts Way and Bundarra Road remain closed.

Follow our live coverage here:

EARLIER:

A resident situated 16 kilometres north of Bundarra has compared her view of the blaze to that of a “wicked storm”.

Nicole Kasper said from her back verandah the bottom of the fire was throwing off thick smoke with a mix of black and purple colours.

“We’ve received several warnings from the RFS via text message. So far they’ve said it’s moving towards Tingha but we still fall under the same jurisdiction.

“It doesn’t look good at all from the back of our house but when we went up to the crossroads it put my mind at ease a little because the fire is further away then what it looked from home,” she said.

Nicole said loud bangs, which she assumed were pieces of wood exploding, could be heard from the house. With children at school in Inverell, and a road closure in place for Thunderbolts Way, Nicole was lucky to have family in town.

“Their Aunty has picked them up but when will the roads re-open will it be tonight, tomorrow? We have 50-head of rodeo bulls and 70-odd females so if we have to move them it’s probably a good thing the kids aren’t here,” she said.

2PM:

Firefighters and aircraft have been unable to slow the spread of a fire burning to the east of Lake Copeton, near Inverell today.

The out-of-control blaze has burnt through more than 340 hectares of bush land crossing Thunderbolts Way just before 2pm.

Residents between Lake Copeton and Tingha have been warned to seek shelter and protect themselves from the heat of the fire.

Under current dry conditions, RFS crews said the blaze has potential to reach Tingha this afternoon.

Additional firefighters have been sent in to protect properties.

Emergency alert telephone warnings were issued to homes and mobile phones under threat.

Thunderbolts Way and Bundarra Road are closed.

MIDDAY:

Rural Fire Service (RFS) crews have warned properties between Lake Copeton and Tingha may come under threat of a blaze burning near Inverell today.

Fire fighters have been tasked to the out of control blaze in the Tingha Plateau Copeton area for several days now.

According to a midday major fire update from the RFS, the bushfire is currently burning to the east of Lake Copeton, spread across 300 hectares.

“The fire is burning in an easterly direction towards Thunderbolts Way. Fire activity is increasing. Firefighters and aircraft, including a Large Air Tanker, are working to slow the spread of the fire,” the update read.

With high temperatures and strong winds forecast for the rest of the day, crews predict the blaze to be pushed towards Tingha. 

“If you are in areas around Lake Copeton, Tingha, Gilgai, monitor conditions. Ensure you know what you'll do if a fire reaches your property or location.”

Inverell Shire Council has since closed Bundarra Road, south of Gilgai. There is no access to Bundarra or Tingha. Drivers have been asked to detour via Glen Innes.

There is a state-wide total fire ban today.

Check and follow your Bush Fire Survival Plan. If you do not have a plan, decide what you will do if the situation changes. Leaving early is your safest option.

If your life is at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately. 

Courtesy Inverell Times

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