An out of control bushfire at Whiteman Creek west of Grafton on Saturday, 10th August, 2019.
An out of control bushfire at Whiteman Creek west of Grafton on Saturday, 10th August, 2019. Bill North

PERFECT STORM: Wild wind, dry conditions spark 20 blazes

A PERFECT storm of wild weather and landowners burning off has been dubbed the spark that led to fires blazing around the State. 

Wild winds and low humidity made for ideal conditions to ignite several fires starting Friday and into the weekend.

Conditions eased yesterday giving firefighters a chance to contain some of the fires threatening properties but residents remain on alert. 

NSW Rural Fire Service district manager Superintendent Stuart Watts said the cause of some fires was likely landowners burning off and allowing fire to escape containment.

"Then becoming a much larger fire which burns into broader landscapes," Supt Watts said.

"Three days of solid westerly winds and low humidity then put us on the back foot in terms of trying to contain fires.

"A number of fires lit around valley at same time causing some level of concern."

Coffs/Clarence Police District Chief Inspector Jo Reid said police forensic services were actively involved at the scene of the Whiteman Creek fire which is still at advice status and a focus of RFS crews.

"At this stage we are not looking at anything obviously suspicious," Chief Insp Reid said.

As firefighters contain the fires in the next coming days police will work with crews to continue investigations.

Meanwhile, in Kempsey investigations have been launched into fires believed to be deliberately lit.

The Macleay Argus has reported emergency services responded to 521 fires in the Macleay Valley in the last financial year.

Investigators from Mid North Coast Police District are investigating these fires and are being assisted by the State Crime Command's Property Crime Squad Arson Unit's Strike Force Tronto.