A second tanker has boosted the firefighting arsenal on hand to battle blazes across the state.

One of the largest fires is burning west of Coffs and it will soon get a lot bigger as it merges with another to the north.

NSW Rural Fire Service Inspecter Ben Shepherd says it is more than likely the Bees Nest Fire which has already burnt out 97,030 hectares will link up with the Kingsgate, Red Range fire in Glen Innes which has burnt out 30,546 hectares.

It's also possible a third fire in the region, known as the Kaloe Mountain Trail fire in the Clarence Valley which has burnt 19,824 hectares, will link up.


Massive fires could merge as winds test containment lines

Volunteer firefighters like 'walking ghosts'

To help get the upper hand an RJ85 airtanker known as Boomer has been called in.

It's a regular visitor from North America during Australia's bushfire season but has been brought in a couple of months early this year to battle the unprecedented springtime fires.

Ins Shepherd says Boomer is smaller than the NSW Rural Fire Service's 737 air tanker, the Marie Bashir, but it is a handy piece of firefighting equipment.


Eight homes and several sheds have been lost.
Eight homes and several sheds have been lost.


"It is smaller but allows us to get out to some of the smaller regional airports," Insp Shepherd said.

"It's a great little tool to have. We're thankful it is here but hopefull we don't have to use it."

Boomer can hold 11,300 litres of water or retardant compared to the 737 which can hold more than 424,000 litres.

The Marie Bashir is the first RFS owned aircraft with others like Boomer leased from other countries like America.

"Since coming on line in late July the Marie Bashir has conducted 70 missions here and in Queensland and dropped more than a million litres of water and retardant."


The massive Bees Nest fire is on the verge of linking up with two other major blazes to the north.
The massive Bees Nest fire is on the verge of linking up with two other major blazes to the north.

Inspector Shepherd said RFS firefighters will be conducting extensive backburning over the coming weeks in an attempt to keep the fires within containment lines.

Water scarcity is always a huge consideration when deciding how to fight the fires.

"A lot of the firefighters fighting fires are from the area and are well aware of the issues surrounding water. We rely heavily on the use of graders and more dry fire fighting techniques.

"The element we have most control over is fuel and we can remove a lot of that fuel by burning it."