Seven homes lost in northern NSW bushfire

The RFS is working to maintain control of a NSW fire that's claimed one life, and destroyed homes.

The RFS is working to maintain control of a NSW fire that's claimed one life, and destroyed homes. Photo: Getty

At least seven homes have been destroyed in a giant bushfire on the NSW mid-north coast as authorities warn of serious fire risks in the coming days.

The NSW Rural Fire Service on Friday confirmed the properties were destroyed earlier in the week in the Willi Willi Road fire west of Kempsey.

Local man Richard Mainey, 56, was killed defending his Temagog property from the fire on Monday.

RFS spokeswoman Angela Burford said the fire, which has burnt though more than 26,000 hectares, was now at advice level and under control.

“We’re just trying to consolidate as much of the edge as we can before the weather deteriorates again tomorrow,” she told AAP.

Ms Burford added the state’s fire risk was likely to rise over the weekend, with temperatures forecast to exceed 30C and strong winds predicted on Sunday.

The area of most concern was the northeast but authorities were concerned about a large swathe of territory stretching from Sydney to the Queensland border, she said.

An extreme fire rating is expected to be in place for the upper central-west plains region, in the state’s northwest, on Saturday, while the same rating is forecast for greater Sydney, the Hunter and north-western regions on Sunday.

Firefighters were on Friday taking advantage of moderate weather to back-burn near several fires – including the Willi Willi Road blaze – to strengthen containment lines ahead of the worsening conditions.

Forty-four bush and grass fires were burning across the state on Friday afternoon, but only three were out of control.

Authorities have warned that only about 24 per cent of planned hazard reduction burns were done in 2022/23 due to wet weather, heightening the fire risk this bushfire season.


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