Fire’s devastating scale revealed
The scale of the massive blaze burning west of Coffs Harbour has been revealed in this striking comparison.
Overlaid to scale over an aerial map of Sydney it shows the blaze would stretch from Penrith to Bondi.
The Beest Nest fire west of Dorrigo now covers a staggering 78,627 hectares with a perimeter of over 300 kilometres.
Strong winds have fanned flames and grounded firefighting aircraft on several occasions.
Today winds have once again turned westerly bringing smoke to Coffs Harbour and renewed health warnings.
Firefighters will be working for weeks to bring the fire under control conducting tactical back burning to protect properties and strengthen containment lines as well as direct attack.
Loss of livestock and property is yet to be officially determined although the Advocate understands there has been stock losses including up to 100 goats on one property and horses and the loss of sheds and fences.
From an ecological point of view the impacts will also be devastating.
The fire originated in the Guy Fawkes River National Park, described as a wilderness paradise popular for bushwalking and birdwatching. It's considered a significant conservation site with incredible biodiversity; home to 24 threatened animal species including the brush-tailed rock-wallaby.
Weather experts have warned this is the new normal with Australia on the brink of a looming 'rainfall apocalypse' due to record warm temperatures in the air swirling above Antarctica.
Senior Bureau of Meteorology forecasters are warning of the most severe Antarctic warming event on record.
That means NSW and southern Queensland, already in parts devastated by bushfires so early in the season, are set to face worsening conditions and an even more catastrophic bushfire season.
West of Coffs Harbour firefighting conditions are set to worsen from Sunday into early next week with increasing temperatures and strengthening winds.