UPDATED

New England Highway reopens between Tenterfield and Glen Innes

The New England Highway, at Deepwater, was first closed on Friday, then again on Saturday. Picture: Donna Ward
The New England Highway, at Deepwater, was first closed on Friday, then again on Saturday. Picture: Donna Ward

UPDATE:

The New England Highway has reopened between Tenterfield and Deepwater after being closed due to the bushfire burning in the area.

The Transport Management Centre released an update shortly after 7pm on Saturday, which said while the highway had reopened, there was a reduced speed limit of 60km/h through the area.

The Gwydir Highway also remains closed between Bald Nob (east of Glen Innes) and Eatonsville (west of Grafton).

EARLIER:

The New England Highway remains closed in both directions further north between Tenterfield and Deepwater due to a bushfire.

Firefighters and aircraft continue working to protect properties and slow the spread of the fire.

In an update on its website on Saturday afternoon, the Rural Fire Service advised residents in the areas of Torrington, Stannum, Silent Grove and Pyes Creek Road to monitor conditions.

Their advice is to follow your Bush Fire Survival Plan and prepare for a bush fire in your area, and if your plan is to leave, or you are not prepared, leave early if the path is clear.

The highway was closed on Friday, as the fire approached, then was closed again on Saturday.

Motorists were being advised to divert to the Bruxner Highway.

EARLIER (Friday):

An out-of-control fire has blocked the New England highway north of Deepwater as rural firefighters battle over a dozen dangerous emergency level fires through NSW.

The Rural Fire Service advises the emergency-level Gulf road fire continues to burn East towards the main highway, which has been closed in both directions between Glen Innes and Deepwater.

The blaze is likely to "impact the highway" this afternoon according to a Facebook post by the service.

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The Gwydir Highway is also closed east of Glen Innes between Bald Nob Road and Tindal Road.

The fire has already burned up over 29,000 hectares in the Gulf Road area near Torrington, with residents in the area of Torrington, Silent Grove, Wolfram Hill, Tungsten, Maids Valley and Mole River advised to seek shelter as the fire approaches.

The fire is currently impacting homes near the Silent Grove Road at multiple locations. The fire is also impacting Torrington.

The Gwydir highway is also closed between Glen Innes and Grafton.

Deepwater resident Tricia Stack said locals have been texted by the RFS to watch for the approaching blaze.

The Deepwater resident of 12 years said it's the first time the town has ever been threatened by fire in her experience. She said she's worried.

"It's not even the fire season. Our firefighters have been under such stress for days and days and weeks and weeks and it's not even the fire season," she said.

"The wind is diabolical and there's hardly any water to fight it."