Fire cri­sis as NSW blazes rage

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS -

GRAVE fears are held for res­i­dents be­lieved to be trapped by rag­ing fires on the mid-north coast of NSW, with the state ex­pe­ri­enc­ing an un­prece­dented bush­fire cri­sis as 99 blazes yes­ter­day burned across the tin­der-dry state, in­clud­ing 17 at emer­gency level.

Thou­sands of res­i­dents in the state’s north were forced to flee for their lives, and mul­ti­ple build­ings, in­clud­ing a school at Bobin, in the north­west, are be­lieved to have been de­stroyed.

There are re­ports res­i­dents may have be­come trapped in a num­ber of lo­ca­tions, with fire­fight­ers un­able to reach them in time. Last night there were fears of a fa­tal­ity at Rain­bow Flat.

More than 1000 fire­fight­ers and 70 air­craft bat­tled in ex­treme con­di­tions at Port Mac­quarie, Nam­bucca, Kempsey and Clarence Val­ley, fur­ther north at Ten­ter­field and Ar­mi­dale, and in the Blue Moun­tains yes­ter­day.

A week­end cool change is due to help but fire au­thor­i­ties warned the dan­ger was not over, with haz­ardous con­di­tions pre­dicted to re­turn early next week.

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