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NSW bushfires: ‘Problematic’ wind shift may send fire towards Yamba

“With those kinds of winds, the work that we’ve done overnight trying to hold the fire south of the township, those winds are going to put pressure on those containment lines.”

Smoke haze was seen as bushfires burned in Yamba on Monday.

Smoke haze was seen as bushfires burned in Yamba on Monday.Credit:AAP

On Tuesday morning, 59 fires are currently burning across NSW – 19 of which are uncontained – with most occurring in the state’s north up to the Queensland border.

A devastating bushfire situation is also unfolding over the border with more than 70 fires burning across Queensland and more than 20 homes lost.

To date, at least six homes have been destroyed in the northern NSW fires as well as 22 outbuildings, two car yards and a pistol club.

On the upside, the NSW Rural Fire Service said more than 200 homes in the firegrounds were saved.

While the bushfire danger has eased in some parts of the state, the Bureau of Meteorology issued a high fire danger rating for several regions on Tuesday including the Far North Coast, North Coast, New England, Central Ranges and Greater Hunter. The risk will be very high in the Northern Slopes region.

Of the uncontained fires, one of the biggest concerns is the blaze at Long Gully Road near Drake in the Tenterfield area, where more than 40,000 hectares have been razed after strong winds fanned the flames on Monday.

NSW RFS firefighters battle the bushfire on Long Gully Road at Drake on Monday.

NSW RFS firefighters battle the bushfire on Long Gully Road at Drake on Monday. Credit:AAP

“Firefighters worked overnight with property owners along both these roads to protect properties as the fire front approached. The fire has progressed towards Timbarra,” the fire service said. “Strong winds are expected to continue.”

‘Watch and act’ warnings are in place for Drake and Shark Creek, as well as the fire at Bees Nest, inland from Coffs Harbour on the Mid North Coast.

The Bees Nest fire is burning north of Ebor and north-west of Dorrigo, and firefighters responded to multiple calls for assistance to protect properties on Monday night.

So far more than 66,500 hectares in the area have been affected.

“Strong west to southwesterly winds are currently affecting the area. This will continue to push the fire in a northeasterly direction,” the fire service said.

The Bees Nest fire is likely to take weeks to contain due to the dense bushland in the region.

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