UPDATES: Fires | Photos, video

8:00am | All fires in the Mid Western region are now at advise level.

Firefighters are continuing contain White Cedars Road at Kains Flat, north-east of Mudgee.

The fire has burnt more than 5000 hectares of land in the area around White Cedars Road at Kains Flat, north-east of Mudgee. The fire is not yet contained.

The main area of focus is containment lines on the western, south western and south eastern sides of the fire.

Firefighters are working to consolidate containment lines at the Sir Ivan bush fire which is burning to the east of Dunedoo in the area around Leadville, Coolah and Cassilis.

The fire is burning to the east of Dunedoo in the area around Leadville, Coolah and Cassilis.

The fire has burnt more than 50,000 hectares of land and on Sunday destroyed a number of homes and other buildings under Catastrophic fire conditions.

The Crudine Rd, Ilford, fire which started yesterday afternoon is listed as ‘being controlled’ with 311 ha burnt.

7:30pm | Both the the Sir Ivan and Kains Flat fire are now at advise level.

The Golden Highway has reopened between Leadville and Cassilis after being closed due to a bushfire.

The diversion via Gulgong has been lifted.

Motorists should continue to exercise caution through the area and follow the directions of personnel on the ground.

5:50pm | NSW RFS crews are on the scene of a grass fire at Crudine Road, Ilford. A property is at threat.

5:40pm | White Cedars Rd, Kains Flat - The community information point at Wollar Public School (Barigan St, Wollar) will be open until 7pm.

3:20pm | The NSW RFS has now assessed 70 per cent of the Sir Ivan fire area.

23 homes destroyed, two homes damaged, one church destroyed and 66 outbuildings destroyed.

The assessment at White Cedars Road is now complete.

One home (uninhabited) was destroyed and four outbuildings.

2.21pm | NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has met with volunteers and Incident Management staff today at the Sir Ivan fire ground.

2:10pm | There is a community information point located at the Coolah Sporting Club (Goddard Street, Coolah), to provide community information.

12:15pm | The NSW RFS has assessed 60 per cent of the Sir Ivan fire – 23 homes destroyed (including five at Uarbry), two home damaged, one church destroyed and 52 outbuildings destroyed.

Sixty per cent of the White Cedars Road, Kains Flat fire has been assessed with four outbuildings destroyed.

11:50am | The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared an insurance catastrophe for bushfires that have destroyed homes, stock and other assets across New South Wales.

As of 9am, the ICA estimated insured losses were at least $20 million. That figure is predicted to rise over coming days as residents return to their homes and businesses to assess the damage.

ICA CEO Rob Whelan said the catastrophe declaration had seen the industry escalate its response to assist policyholders.

“At least 30 homes and other properties have been lost, and insurers have also received reports of stock losses, as well as fencing and other farm equipment. Hardest hit so far has been Warrumbungle Shire in the state’s Central West, but communities close to Port Macquarie, Kempsey and Narrabri have also suffered losses,” he said.

Under the catastrophe declaration the ICA has:

·         Established an industry taskforce to address and identify any issues that arise

·         Activated its disaster hotline – 1800 734 621 – helping policyholders if they are uncertain which insurer they are with, or have general inquiries about the claims process

·         Mobilised ICA staff to work directly with local services and affected policyholders in the region

The ICA and its members are also liaising with the NSW Government, local councils, emergency services and other agencies.

Mr Whelan said affected policyholders should contact their insurer or insurance broker as soon as possible so the claims process could commence.

The ICA offers the following general guidance to affected policyholders:

o   Don’t be concerned if insurance documents are not readily at hand. Insurance companies keep records electronically and require only the policyholders’ name and address to find a policy

o   Take pictures of damage to the property and possessions as evidence for your claim assessor

o   Speak to your insurer before authorising repairs. Emergency repairs should only be undertaken in the first instance to make the property safe

o   Primary producers who need to euthanise injured livestock can do so, but they should first advise their insurer and make sure they keep records for the purposes of making a claim

o   Remove and discard fire-damaged goods that pose a health risk

o   If possible, keep samples of materials and fabrics to show the assessor

o   Store damaged or destroyed items somewhere safe

o   Make an inventory of damaged possessions to help insurers process your claim

11:30am | Federal Member for Calare, Andrew Gee has welcomed today’s announcement that disaster assistance has been made available for affected communities across New South Wales following last weekend’s bushfires.

Mr Gee said the funding announced today would ensure affected individuals, families, and councils have the resources and support they need to recover from the impacts of the bushfires as quickly as possible. 

“The fires which ripped through the Central West last weekend have been absolutely devastating for a number of our Central West communities,” Mr Gee said.

“Our thoughts are with those who have lost their homes, livestock, pets, and indeed their livelihoods in these bushfires.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to the bravery of our rural firefighters, who in the wake of these events give up their time and put themselves in harm’s way to keep our communities safe. We are certainly indebted to them all.”

The seven local government areas receiving NDRRA assistance in response to the bushfires include: Kempsey, Mid Coast, Mid-Western Regional, Narrabri, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Upper Hunter, and Warrumbungle. This assistance includes:

Help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged;

Support for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets;

Concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations; 

Freight subsidies for primary producers; and

Grants to non-profit organisations.

“The Australian Government stands ready to assist affected local communities to get back on their feet, and I am pleased to see this funding announced today,” Mr Gee added.

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444. To apply for a concessional loan, grant or freight subsidy, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au.   

Further information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website disasterassist.gov.auand the New South Wales emergency information and response website at emergency.nsw.gov.au.

Alternatively, constituents can contact Mr Gee’s electorate office on (02) 6361 7138.

11:15am | Event this weekend to support local fire fighters.

Cootamundra producers have answered the call with hundreds of bales of hay heading to Central West regions devastated by bushfires over the weekend. 

11:10am | EMERGENCY ROAD CLOSURES from the Mid Western Regional Council

Please be advised that the following road closures remain in place due to emergency evacuations.

Wollar Road - Closed at Bylong Valley Way intersection (diversions via Lue or continue to Sandy Hollow)

Wollar Road - Closed at Kains Flat Rd intersection (no diversion)

Kains Flat Road - Closed at Wollar Rd (Access to Iron Barks Rd is available for residents only)

Ulan Road - Closed at approximately 5km north of Cope Rd intersection

Ulan-Wollar Road - Closed at Ulan Rd (no diversions)

RESIDENTS are permitted through the closures to access property with caution but please continue to abide by advice provided by Council and the RFS.

Please continue to monitor our Facebook page for any further updates.

EVACUATION CENTRES

Club Mudgee is available for those seeking an evacuation location. 

Mudgee Showground is available for those with animals (self sufficient).

LATEST UPDATES

Please refer to the RFS site for the most up to date fire information and follow all advice.

11:00am | Mudgee Vet Hospital is on standby for injured animals 

Fire Updates – Advice – White Cedars Road, Kains Flat is burning in an easterly direction. The fire is being controlled.

Overnight, crews worked in difficult terrain to undertake back burning in order to strengthen containment lines. Where possible, crews in the area of Upper Cumbo Road directly attacked the fire, with the support of heavy plant.

Firefighter’s will continue to take advantage of favourable conditions throughout the day and construct and strengthen additional containment lines on the western, south western and south eastern sides of the fire.

Expect to see an increase in smoke throughout the day, caused by back burning operations near White Cedars Road.

There is no is immediate threat to properties, but residents should keep monitoring the situation.

Watch and Act – Sir Ivan Fire, Leadville is burning to the east of Dunedoo, north of the Golden Highway. The fire is burning in the area of Leadville, Coolah and Cassilis. The fire has burned approximately 52,000 hectares and is being controlled.

10.25am | Residents returning to homes and properties damaged by catastrophic bushfires have been urged to protect themselves against deadly asbestos fibres.

The Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia has warned that a high proportion of homes built before 1987 contain asbestos products, while the use of asbestos fibro sheeting was particularly prevalent in farm sheds and outbuildings.

ADFA president Barry Robson said the intense heat from bushfires often shattered bonded asbestos products, allowing the deadly fibres to mix with ash and other debris and become airborne.

“As people return to their homes it is a natural instinct to search through the remains for cherished possessions that may have survived the blaze, but it is essential that people protect themselves and their families from potential dangers,” Mr Robson said.

“Intense fires cause asbestos materials to break up, meaning the deadly fibres are set free and can easily become airborne when disturbed.

“Losing your home is tragic enough, but the last thing anyone wants is to add the future suffering of asbestos related diseases because appropriate safety precautions weren’t taken.”

Mr Robson said suitable asbestos masks and disposable suits could be purchased from most major hardware stores, while thoroughly watering down the debris will also limit the risk of asbestos fibres becoming airborne due to wind or other disturbance.

Tuesday, February 14, 8.55am | Power has been restored in Coolah as Essential Energy crews continue the clean-up from the Sir Ivan fire.

Power was restored to 30 customers at 7.44pm on Monday, with a further 315 customers, including all of the township of Coolah, gaining power at 12.14am Tuesday.

Extra crews and equipment are again travelling to the area today to assist Dunedoo crews restore power as quickly as safety allows for the 580 households and businesses still affected by unplanned power outages related to electricity infrastructure damage from the bushfires.

The Sir Ivan fire has now burned more than 54,000 hectares and is being controlled by emergency services.

Essential Energy reminds the public to stay at least eight meters away from fallen powerlines and anything touching them. 

Customers should contact 13 20 80 if they require further information.

6:00pm | Here's the latest damage assessment from the weekend fires, as of 6pm Monday.

At this stage, there is a total of 30 homes destroyed and five damaged.

The following locations have been assessed:

Sir Ivan Fire (Warrumbungle) – 50 percent of area assessed

23 homes destroyed 

2 homes damaged

1 church destroyed

51 outbuildings destroyed

Pappinbarra Fire (Port Macquarie-Hastings LGA)

4 homes destroyed

3 homes damaged

7 outbuildings destroyed

Spring Hill Road Dondingalong Fire (Kempsey LGA)

2 homes destroyed (one habitable)

7 outbuildings destroyed

Binalong Road, Boggabri (Narrabri LGA)

1 home destroyed

2 outbuildings destroyed

White Cedars Road, Kains Flat fire (Mudgee)

Assessment is not yet complete

Another update will be issued on Tuesday morning when further assessments are completed.

4:00pm | The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) has completed an initial assessment of areas affected by bush fires at the weekend.

At this stage, a total of 19 homes have been confirmed destroyed, with two others damaged.

A large number of outbuildings such as sheds have also been destroyed or damaged.

The following locations have been assessed:

Sir Ivan Fire (Warrumbungle) – 20 percent of area assessed

12 homes destroyed (including five at Uarbry)

1 home damaged

1 church destroyed

15 outbuildings destroyed

Pappinbarra (Port Macquarie-Hastings LGA)

4 homes destroyed

1 house damaged

4 outbuildings destroyed

Spring Hill Road Dondingalong Fire (Kempsey LGA)

2 houses destroyed (one habitable)

7 outbuildings destroyed

Binalong Road, Boggabri (Narrabri LGA) – 30 percent of area assessed

1 house destroyed

2 outbuildings destroyed

The assessment of the Sir Ivan fire and Binalong Road fires is continuing. The number of properties destroyed or damaged at these locations may change.

The assessment of the White Cedars Road, Kains Flat fire (Mudgee) has not yet commenced due to the current fire conditions.

The Department of Primary Industries has also advised there is also extensive loss of stock, machinery and fencing.

1.40pm | Emotions were “all over the place” as about 400 people attended a community meeting at Coolah Sporting Club this morning.

Warrumbungle Shire Mayor Peter Shinton said NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), NSW Police, and council personnel were all present to bring the community up-to-speed on the Sir Ivan Fire.

“It was pretty well run and lots of questions and I’m pretty sure we’ve answered most of them,” Councillor Shinton said.

“All anybody is looking for is information.

“We’re putting out a news sheet with updates and contacts for people who have lost stock or property.”

Coolah Sporting Club has also served as an evacuation centre, but Cr Shinton said everybody had a bed last night.

“Emotions are all over the place,” he said.

“We’ve got people who are looking after people, last night people evacuated to the club and everyone had a place to sleep and the community is pulling together as we would expect.”

The fire has burned almost 50,000 hectares so far and is yet to be brought under control.

It has brought back memories of the Wambelong Fire of 2013 which burned a similar area, but much more quickly.

Unlike that blaze, the council and community had 24 hours notice ahead of the catastrophic conditions, and an incident controller was ready to go.

“I think we’re gonna see some large property losses, we know we’ve lost some iconic properties but the assessment teams are on the ground,” Cr Shinton said.

“I think this is going to be a fire that’s going to leave a mark, not only on the community but on the economy as well.

“A huge thank you to the volunteer firefighters but also the way people have pulled together in the shire.”

1.15pm | This just in from Essential Energy: “Around 893 households and businesses in the Cassillis, Coolah, Leadville and surrounding areas are currently affected by unplanned power outages due to bushfire damage to the electricity network.

Crews were able to restore power to 315 households and businesses in parts of Coolah, including the hospital and a part of the main street, at approximately 9.30am this morning.

We are aware that there are at least 12 power poles on the main powerline servicing the Coolah area damaged and crews will focus their efforts on replacing these poles which are located in the Hannahs Bridge area. Crews hope to be able to restore power to most of the Coolah township today, but no guarantees can be given at this stage due to the amount of damage.

A helicopter is in the air assessing the damage to the electricity network and early reports are that the damage is significant.

Crews and equipment from multiple depots will be assisting Dunedoo based crews make repairs and restore power as quickly as safety allows for customers. 

We appreciate this is a difficult time for those customers affected and thank them for their understanding.

Customers should contact 13 20 80 if they require further information.”

1.09pm | Firefighters are among those to lose homes in the Sir Ivan Fire, NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has confirmed.

“The community of Uarbry has been heavily impacted by fire and I would suggest most buildings in the community of Uarbry are damaged and/or destroyed,” he said on Monday morning.

“As a mater of fact one of our captains in that local area was a resident and Uarbry. He was out fighting the fires and he has come back to find that his home is destroyed.”

More than 2500 firefighters were deployed across NSW at the peak of Sunday’s fire conditions, while thousands more were on standby.

More than 1.5 million emergency warning messages were sent to people to advise them of the local situation.

“Over the weekend, the catastrophic conditions as they were forecast indeed materialised. We saw widespread catastrophic conditions starting out as early as mid-to-late morning in some parts and extending right through to the very late afternoon,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

“As a result over the weekend we saw more than 200 bush and grass fires start and need to be dealt with by the firefighting agencies right across the state and only yesterday there was 124 fires that we were dealing with around NSW.

“Of course we’ve got those five areas that went to emergency warning alert status and multiple, numerous different emergency alerts were sent to areas directly affected with different tailored messaging based on their particular risk and what we were advising them to do given the threat of that fire.

“Properties and property have been destroyed.

“Our specialist impact teams are out across all these fire grounds as we speak seeking to get detailed analysis of the extent of loss.

“We know there are going to be homes lost, we know there are plenty of other buildings that have been destroyed.

“There is much that has been destroyed and as the premier has indicated we are talking about livestock that have been destroyed as well, not to mention a host of other agricultural assets and indeed critical community infrastructure such as power, radio, telecommunications, transmissions sites and so on.”

He said two firefighters had been injured: one near Mudgee suffering s severe laceration to the hand, and one near Boggabri hospitalised with serious burns. 

“The minister [Troy Grant] mentioned that one of the fires at Dunedoo is something like 50,000 hectares at the moment,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

“That fire is likely to grow in size as they implement the full suite of containment strategies.

“By way of perspective the current active edge around that fire is around 200 kilometres.

“That’s a lot of edge for firefighters to deal with and to seek to bring under control.”

UPDATED 11.38am:

While fire crews battle to contain the 42,000-hectare bushfire at Leadville, its trail of destruction is clear to see. 

The fire, dubbed the Sir Ivan fire, has all-but wiped out the small village of Uarbry, and claimed numerous homes, livestock including renowned stud stock, buildings including one historic homestead, and other farming assets throughout the Leadville, Turill, Cassilis and Coolah districts.

Producers will join property assessment teams from the Department of Primary Industries and NSW Rural Fire Service this morning to record the full extent of the damage. 

Here’s what we know so far:

“CASSILIS PARK”

Homes were saved at Armstrong family’s “Cassilis Park” but not all Merino stud stock have been accounted for.

Fire crews are still monitoring the property. 

James Armstrong, son of Cam and Winks, said they will find out the full extent of the damage later this morning.

“We thought the whole place was burnt out but we don’t think that’s the case anymore,” James said. 

“GUNDOOEE”

Fire engulfed Rob Lennon’s entire property “Gundooee” at Leadville. 

The Lennons run an organic Wagyu operation on Wardens Road. 

All cattle and domestic cattle have been accounted for bar two horses. A search for the horses will commence shortly.

The Lennon’s house, both sheds, bottom cattle yards and all pumps were saved but all other infrastructure was lost. 

“PEMCAW” 

Lou, Jen and Henry Armstrong’s “Pemcaw” Merino stud at Dunedoo was unharmed by the fire.

TUREE STATION

Sid Reynolds’ property, Turee Station, said pasture paddocks had been destroyed but the vast majority of the property was unaffected. No stock had been lost and the homestead and all outbuildings remained intact. 

11.25am | Member for Dubbo and Emergency Services Minister Troy Grant said the weekend’s conditions were “unprecedented”.

“There is a sigh of relief and a feeling of some respite with the cool change that came in but ... we must remember that there are many who have been devastated by fires in their regions,” Mr Grant said.

“What it [the southerly change] did with those gusty winds was increase the hazard and the devastation of the fire which rose to extraordinarily wide breadth of the fire zone.

“Let’s not forget that it was only four years ago that a lot of the people across the Warrumbungles were devastated by the Wambelong fire there who will now have to deal with another are of their region being devastated again and the community support, as well as those involved in government, is there and will be there ongoing to help them through this most difficult of times as they start the recovery effort.”

11.10am | NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has addressed the media in Sydney this morning: “I want to express on behalf of the people of NSW our thoughts for those families and individuals, some of whom were volunteers fighting fires elsewhere.

“So I can confirm that some volunteers were fighting to save other people’s properties actually lost their own.

“We again express our deepest support and empathy to those individuals who’ve lost property, who’ve lost stock, who’ve lost animals because we appreciate what a distressing time it is for them but I’m also so deeply relieved that to date we haven’t had any loss of life, we have some injuries which the Commissioner will expand on but again these are not life-threatening and a huge debt of gratitude to those firefighters and volunteers on the ground who’ve made every effort to support those communities in such despair.”

10.38am | A Watch and Act alert remains in place for the Sir Ivan Fire.

From the Rural Fire Service: “A large bush fire is burning to the east of Dunedoo, north of the Golden Highway. The fire is moving north towards Leadville and Coolah. The fire has burned approximately 42,000 hectares and is not yet contained.

Current Situation: The fire is currently burning to the east of Dunedoo moving in a northerly direction towards Black Stump Way, Leadville and Coolah.

Although conditions are easing, people in the area should remain vigilant and prepared to implement their bush fire survival plan.

Building Impact Assessment Teams will inspect the area later today to report on any loss or damage to property and livestock.

A community meeting will be held at the Coolah Sporting Club, Goddard Street at 11am today, Monday 13 February.

Advice: People in the areas of Leadville, Turill, Cassilis and Coolah should remain vigilant and prepared to implement their bush fire survival plan.

Follow the directions of firefighters in the area.

Telecommunications may be distrupted in the area due to power outages.

The Golden Highway remains closed between Dunedoo, Merriwa, Denman and the Hunter Expressway at Singleton. Other local roads may be closed at short notice.

An evacuation centre at Club Mudgee, Mudgee remains open. The Merriwa RSL evacuation centre is now closed.

The Mudgee Showground has also been opened to cater for people with animals.

A community meeting will be held at the Coolah Sporting Club, Goddard Street at 11am today, Monday 13 February.

9:00am: Watch and Act - Sir Ivan Fire – A community meeting will be held at the Coolah Sporting Club at 11am today. 

Watch and Act - Sir Ivan Fire (Warrumbungle LGA)

A bush fire is burning to the east of Dunedoo, north of the Golden Highway. A southerly change has impacted the fireground and the fire is now moving north towards Leadville and Coolah. The fire has burned approximately 41650 hectares and is not yet contained.

The fire is currently burning to the east of Dunedoo moving in a northerly direction towards Black Stump Way, Leadville and Coolah.

Although conditions are easing, people in the area should remain vigilant and prepared to implement their bush fire survival plan.

Building Impact Assessment Teams will inspect the area later today to report on any loss or damage to property and livestock.

A community meeting will be held at the Coolah Sporting Club, Goddard Street at 11am today, Monday 13 February.

Advice

People in the areas of Leadville, Turill, Cassilis and Coolah should remain vigilant and prepared to implement their bush fire survival plan.

Follow the directions of firefighters in the area.

Telecommunications may be distrupted in the area due to power outages.

The Golden Highway remains closed between Dunedoo, Merriwa, Denham and the Hunter Expressway at Singleton. Other local roads may be closed at short notice.

Evacuation Centres have been opened at Merriwa RSL, Merriwa and Club Mudgee, Mudgee.

The Mudgee Showground has also been opened to cater for people with animals.

A community meeting will be held at the Coolah Sporting Club, Goddard Street at 11am today, Monday 13 February.

7.30am: The immediate threat to property from bushfires raging in central western NSW has been downgraded following cooler and calmer conditions overnight, but firefighters have warned the danger period is not yet over.

Dozens of properties are believed to have been damaged, but it is not yet known how many were destroyed, when almost 100 fires burned across NSW on the weekend in what the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) classified as "catastrophic conditions".

Building Impact Assessment Teams will inspect fire-ravaged areas on Monday to determine the extent of loss or damage to property and livestock.

At least one farmer, Warren Jarvis, reported that his house was "totally gone" when a fire raced over the hill near his property near Cassilis and went "mad".

"My house and all my property is totally gone. Three greyhounds, other cats, all my chooks, probably my sheep and cattle," he said.

Just before 6am on Monday, the two biggest fires - the Sir Ivan Fire, to the east of Dunedoo, and at Kains Flat, south of Kempsey - were both at Watch and Act level. That is one level below an emergency warning, and means there is still a heightened level of threat and conditions are changing.

The RFS said the Sir Ivan Fire was not contained and was moving north towards Leadville and Coolah. It had already burned 41,650 hectares of land by early on Monday morning, the RFS said.

"The fire is currently burning to the east of Dunedoo moving in a northerly direction towards Black Stump Way, Leadville and Coolah," a RFS spokesman said.​

"Although conditions are easing, people in the area should remain vigilant and prepared to implement their bushfire survival plan.

"People in the areas of Leadville, Turill, Cassilis and Coolah should remain vigilant and prepared to implement their bush fire survival plan.

"Follow the directions of firefighters in the area. Telecommunications may be disrupted in the area due to power outages."

The Kains Flat fire, north-east of Mudgee, was out of control and moving in an easterly direction just before 6am on Monday.

"Conditions in the area have eased throughout the evening diminishing the level of fire activity," the RFS spokesman said.

"Firefighters are actively defending properties under threat.

"If it is your plan to leave, or if you are not prepared to stay, people in the area around Wollar and Cumbo, including Mogo Road and Araluen Lane, should leave now towards Bylong.

"People in the area around Wollar and Cumbo should remain vigilant and prepared to implement their bushfire survival plan."

Six other major fires - near Kempsey, near Taree, to the west of Wauchope, north of Gloucester, north of Ballina and south of Boggabri - had all been downgraded to "advice" level by Monday morning, meaning there was no immediate danger to properties or residents.

On Monday morning, about 90 fires were still burning across the state. 

The southerly change that swept through NSW on Sunday afternoon cooled conditions considerably.

6.00am: Watch & Act - White Cedars Rd, Kains Flat (Mid-Western LGA)

A bush fire is burning near White Cedars Rd, Kains Flat, north east of Mudgee. The fire is currently out of control and is moving in an easterly direction.

Conditions in the area have eased throughout the evening diminishing the level of fire activity.

Firefighters are actively defending properties under threat.

If it is your plan to leave, or if you are not prepared to stay, people in the area around Wollar and Cumbo, including Mogo Road and Araluen Lane, should leave now towards Bylong. 

Advice People in the area around Wollar and Cumbo should remain vigilant and prepared to implement their bush fire survival plan.

Watch and Act - Sir Ivan Fire (Warrumbungle LGA)

A bush fire is burning to the east of Dunedoo, north of the Golden Highway. A southerly change has impacted the fireground and the fire is now moving north towards Leadville and Coolah. The fire has burned approximately 41650 hectares and is not yet contained.

The fire is currently burning to the east of Dunedoo moving in a northerly direction towards Black Stump Way, Leadville and Coolah. 

Although conditions are easing, people in the area should remain vigilant and prepared to implement their bush fire survival plan.

Building Impact Assessment Teams will inspect the area later today to report on any loss or damage to property and livestock.

People in the areas of Leadville, Turill, Cassilis and Coolah should remain vigilant and prepared to implement their bush fire survival plan. 

Follow the directions of firefighters in the area. 

Telecommunications may be distrupted in the area due to power outages.

The Golden Highway remains closed between Dunedoo, Merriwa, Denham and the Hunter Expressway at Singleton. Other local roads may be closed at short notice.

Evacuation Centres have been opened at Merriwa RSL, Merriwa and Club Mudgee, Mudgee. 

The Mudgee Showground has also been opened to cater for people with animals.

9.00pm: NSW Emergency Services Minister Troy Grant has taken to Twitter to say what we are all thinking. Our firefighters are bloody legends.

With temperatures going well north of 40 degrees over the past two days, thousands of firefighters have been out doing their best to try and save lives and properties.

Meanwhile, there has been no change to the status of fires burning out of control near Dunedoo and Mudgee.

In the past couple of minutes Mr Grant has given this statement to Fairfax Media.

“Thank you to the families and workplaces who made volunteers available to work alongside our emergency services personnel this weekend. 

“In NSW we are incredibly fortunate to have so many people put their own lives on the line to protect the community. 

“Despite seeing the worst of Mother Nature we are seeing the best in the Aussie spirit including so many people working around the clock to protect life and property. 

“The catastrophic conditions our community has faced are unprecedented and my thoughts are with those who have lost property. 

“As we continue to battle the many blazes around our state, I plead with everyone to keep informed and follow the advice of our emergency services.”

The Golden Highway is closed between Dunedoo, Merriwa, Denman and the Hunter Expressway at Singleton. Other local roads may be closed at short notice.

Evacuation Centres have been opened at Merriwa RSL, and Club Mudgee.

The Mudgee Showground has also been opened to cater for people with animals.

Update: Uamby Road, Goolma fire is now listed as under control.

Update: SEVERE WEATHER WARNING for DAMAGING WINDS

For people in the Hunter, Central Tablelands, North West Slopes and Plains and parts of the Mid North Coast, Central West Slopes and Plains, Upper Western and Northern Tablelands Forecast Districts.

Issued at 2:38 pm Sunday, 12 February 2017.

SEVERE WINDS NORTHERN NSW SYNOPTIC SITUATION:

A cold front is moving through central and northern inland NSW with strong gusty west to northwest winds turning southwesterly of similar strength behind the front.

DAMAGING WINDS, averaging 45 to 55 km/h with gusts in of 70 to 80 km/h, possibly exceeding 90km/h ahead of and within a few hours after the passage of the front.

Update: Fire – Uamby Road, Goolma – Status: Out of control

Update: Moolarben

Moolarben – Operations are being shut down and all non-essential personnel have been sent home.

This is a precautionary measure only, with no direct fire threat.

Update: Out of control fire at White Cedars Road, Kains Flat.

Status: Out of control – Watch and Act.

LEADVILLE: Residents of the towns of Uarbry and Turill, north of Mudgee in the state's central west, have been told to leave their homes now after a fire breached containment lines.

The Rural Fire Service issued the emergency warning just before midday, telling residents to head towards the town of Cassilis. The RFS said there are unconfirmed reports of a house lost in the fire.

Emergency alert telephone messages are being sent to people in the area.

The Golden Highway has been closed due to smoke and is expected to remain closed for the remainder of today.

Soaring temperatures across much of the state have led to warnings of catastrophic fire conditions. In Walgett, the temperature has hit 46 degrees.

If you need a Safe Place due to evacuation – full details available from the NSW RFS site: http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/neighbourhood-safer-places

These are the Safe Places for the Warrumbungle LGA Neighbourhood

Current power outages – see image. For the latest power outages: http://www.essentialenergy.com.au/content/outage-all

It's believed a tree has hit a power line in Gulgong causing the black out.

As NSW faces the "worst possible fire conditions" in its history with 'extreme' and catastrophic' warnings in place across large slabs of the state, RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the situation was as "bad as it gets" and warned it was set to get worse on Sunday when winds are expected to sweep through scorched parts of mid to northern NSW. 

"To put it simply [the conditions] are off the old scale," he said. "It is without precedent in NSW". 

As of 11am, the RFS reported 76 bush and grass fires across NSW with 26 not yet contained. Deputy Commission Rob Rogers told ABC news:  "It's going to be a really tough day."