Two hectare bushfire at Shelly Beach, Port Macquarie burns precious conservation area

Fire on Shelly Beach headland. Photos IVAN SAJKO.

Fire on Shelly Beach headland. Photos IVAN SAJKO.

A BUSHFIRE burned almost two hectares of Shelly Beach headland on Tuesday night and is believed to have been deliberately lit.

The fire erupted at about 7.30pm on September 19 on the southern headland of Shelly Beach behind Sea Acres Rainforest conservation area.

Twenty-two fire officers from Port Macquarie’s Fire & Rescue NSW unit were deployed and supported by the Rural Fire Service as they battled to bring the blaze under control for more than two hours.

Accessibility proved to be challenging with 300 metres of hose stretched along the public walkway to the fire zone towards Miners Beach in very steep terrain.

Station officer Derek Alford said three fire trucks, an RFS tanker and the HAZMAT unit were on site.

“We had the Rural Fire Service truck relaying water to us from Pacific Drive to pump into our trucks and refill our tankers,” Mr Alford said.

“Nine lengths of hose were hauled up steep terrain and at night, making conditions incredibly difficult.”

Fire on Shelly Beach headland.

Fire on Shelly Beach headland.

National Parks and Wildlife assessors inspected the area.

They will return on Wednesday morning to walk through the site to assess the damage to the conservation area and log what habitat has been lost.

The area is known to have rare grassland species.

Anyone who may have seen suspicious behaviour of a person lighting the fire are urged to contact the police.

Fire on Shelly Beach headland.

Fire on Shelly Beach headland.

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