WILD WEATHER: Gale force winds and bushfires hit the Northern Rivers
AS STRONG winds continue to batter the region, the Rural Fire Services has issued a warning to Northern NSW residents against hazard reduction burning today.
RFS Spokesperson Greg Allan said the advice applies to land owners from Port Macquarie up to the Qld border, where there are currently more than 15 bushfires burning.
With windy weather continuing today, landholders across Northern NSW urged to hold off any burns. Report all unattended fires to 000 #NSWRFS— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) August 18, 2017
All are "under control" or at the initial "advice" warning level.
"It's obviously quite windy so it's very hard to keep control of any hazard reduction burns," Mr Allan said.
"We're urging residents not to start those burns today, just to make sure the fires don't get out of control.
"If you do see any unattended fire or smoke, contract 000 zero immediately."
Firefighters are also keeping a close eye on a fire in East Ballina today, where on Monday an inaccessible fire was first sited in the old golf course bush reserve at about 3.30am.
As fire moved closer to homes, firefighters performed a control burn.
On Saturday, Fire & Rescue NSW Ballina spokesperson said firefighters were continuing to take out small peat fires at the site.
No homes are under threat.
Bureau of Meteorology spokesperson Neale Fraser said wild weather in the Tasman Sea was causing strong winds.
"Warnings are in place for hazardous surf and gale force winds in coastal areas of Northern NSW today and on Sunday," he said.
NSW's Department of Primary Industries has removed the SMART shark drumlines between Ballina and Lennox Head for today and Sunday "due to large swell and strong winds".
Lismore and Casino - Sunny today, south west winds at 25-35km/hr and a top of 20 degrees. Winds to ease tomorrow.
Ballina - Coastal warning for hazardous surf (rock fishing, boating, swimming) for Saturday and Sunday.
Powerful and dangerous waves, picking up to 3-4m this afternoon and Sunday.
Coastal gale warning, with winds averaging 50km/hr for today and Sunday morning. Top of 21 today and 20 tomorrow.
Byron Bay - Similar to Ballina.
Coastal warning for hazardous surf and ale winds all weekend.
Strong winds up to 60km/hr. Waves just under 5m in-shore and 6m off-shore.
It's expected conditions will ease Sunday night.