• Firefighters battling a blaze near Tingha, NSW. (Facebook)Source: Facebook
The Northern Tablelands hamlet of Tingha came close to being wiped off the map in a 19,000-hectare fire.
Douglas Smith

15 Feb 2019 - 7:30 AM  UPDATED 15 Feb 2019 - 7:30 AM

Firefighters appear to have secured some hard-won progress against three bushfires burning in northern NSW.

The fire at Tingha was brought under control and downgraded to an 'advice level' on Thursday night after backburning operations began.

The NSW Rural Fire Service said nine homes were destroyed along with 18 outbuildings, such as sheds.

Kamilaroi man Lionel Blair spoke with NITV News on the way to pick up his two grandchildren in the nearby town of Guyra on Thursday afternoon.

He said the countryside was “absolutely devastated” by the blaze and had “never seen anything like it before.”

“I tried to go through the main road before to Guyra but I was turned around," Mr Blair said.

“There’s a fire on Guyra Road and there’s one on this road I'm on now, but I’m in the clear up here.

“As far as I can see, firefighters are still battling flames in various places.”

“These fires are far from being over yet I think,” he said.