Get the garden hoses ready for ember attack
MODELLING by the Rural Fire Service indicates residential areas on the Coffs Coast, even those east of the Pacific Highway, could experience ember attack on Tuesday.
Ember attack is where burning parts of trees such as twigs, branches or leaves become temporarily airborne and are carried upwind of a bushfire.
Charred debris from bushfires burning in the Coffs Clarence fell as far east as local beaches on Friday afternoon, but what authorities are concerned about is the potential for burning embers to rain down on homes.
Burning embers can also trigger spot fires kilometres away from a firefront.
On Tuesday, strong northerly winds around 30kmh are predicted to pick up throughout the afternoon on the Coffs Coast as temperatures climb to a daytime high around 30-degrees.
At present the RFS is advising all residents living west of the highway in rural residential settings to make their way east of the highway and spend the day and night in Coffs Harbour.
However, evacuation orders have not been enforced.
Coffs Harbour City Council's Director of Sustainable Infrastructure Mick Raby said it's important residents consider their options before the worst of this 'unprecedented' bushfire emergency unfolds tomorrow.
"There is the potential for fire to impact urban areas, west of Coffs Harbour, so we are asking those who live in those rural or rural residential areas, which are going to be unsafe tomorrow to make an early call and stay with friends or family in the Coffs Harbour or Woolgoolga CBDs," Mr Raby said.
"The worst case scenario is ember attack occurring throughout the local government area.
"The modelling is indicating this will happen, under the strong northerly winds.
"The only thing the modelling does not take into account is the intervention that Rural Fire Service firefighters can make between now and when the winds turn around from the north.
He urged residents to ensure their gutters are clear and to have their garden hoses ready, should the worst case scenario eventuate.
"It will be smoky, it will be dark and quite scary where ever you are on the Coffs Coast.
"There will be people living west of the highway who will stay and defend their properties, but we are urging people with elderly relatives or children to make their way east and make sure they have a fire safety plan."