Residents Told To Seek Shelter As Out-Of-Control Fire Threatens NSW Homes

Residents of a town near Armidale in the NSW Northern Tablelands were told to be on alert as firefighters battled against an out-of-control blaze near several properties.

Crews on the ground were being supported by aircraft including the large air tanker 'Boomer' as the bushfire burned in the town of Backwater on Saturday.

The state's Rural Fire Service said the fire had crossed Turnhams Road and was burning in a south-easterly direction towards a number of properties on Mount Mitchell Road and Pinkett Road.

Residents near the area of Pinkett Road were earlier told to seek shelter if the fire reached their property and to protect themselves from the heat of the blaze.

Crews have since managed to slow the spread of the fire and ease the immediate threats to properties in the area but said the blaze was still out-of-control.

On Saturday evening, the RFS downgraded their emergency warning to 'Watch and Act' but said residents in the area should monitor conditions and be ready to take action if the situation changes.

An emergency alert telephone warning message was also sent to phones in the area on Saturday afternoon.

Two other majors were also still burning in the Armidale area on Saturday, the RFS said.

The Bees Nest fire burning within the Chaelundi State Forest, the Guy Fawkes National Park and Pargo Flat areas is more than 105,000 hectares in size with a perimeter of more than 912 kilometres.

Lightning strikes earlier this week have ignited new fires and the RFS warned on Saturday that strengthening winds were likely to spread these new blazes, adding there was no current threat to properties.

Meanwhile, two fires burning in the Carrai Creek area near Armidale were still out-of-control and more than 3,000 hectares in size.

Cochrane Road has been cut off by the blaze as firefighters working from helicopters communicated with residents in the area who were staying to defend their properties.

"There has been unconfirmed reports fo damage to building in the area," the RFS said.

"Due to remoteness and the rugged terrain containment options are difficult and will take several days to implement."

The RFS also wanred of very high fire danger on Sunday across the Northern Slopes and North Western parts of the state.

Featured Image: NSW RFS

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