Fire inquiry: Cause of Myall Creek Rd fire in 2019

ABOVE: The Myall Creek Rd fire in 2019. Photo: NSW RFS Northern Zone

Susanna Freymark

The Myall Creek Rd fire at Bora Ridge in 2019 was not caused by a single event.

Evidence was presented on Day 51 of the NSW Bushfire Coronial Inquiry, Tuesday, September 13 in the Coroners Court.

The focus was on where, when and how the Myall Creek Rd fire started. The fire destroyed 120,000ha and burned for six weeks.

Thirty-six homes were destroyed and 14 people were injured on the fireground.

The evidence showed that a lightning strike in a vacant paddock started the initial fire in Benauds Rd on October 17.

There had been several lightning strikes in the area and with the windy and unfavourable fire conditions, that strike was the cause of the initial fire.

This fire was known as the Benauds Rd fire and it burned underground in the peat for days.

A Rural Fire Service expert said peat fires were complex and difficult to manage because no smoke was emitted.

On November 8, the fire re-emerged from underground and became known as the Myall Creek Rd fire.

On November 9, the fire spread in a northerly direction and was spotting towards the Pacific Highway.

On November 17, the Myall Creek Rd fire merged with the Busbys Flat fire.

The fire burned for a month and caused significant damage.

A massive area was impacted including Whiporie, Coraki, New Italy, Swan Bay, Wardell and other areas.

By December 22, the fire was out.

The fire was one of many that burned across NSW at that time.

No further investigation will be required.

Myall Creek Rd fire. Photo: NSW RFS Northern Zone

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