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Whether Rally Australia evens runs or not this week is still an unknown, as even worse bushfire conditions are expected in New South Wales on Tuesday. As of Sunday morning, three people have died in the fires, and at least 150 homes have been destroyed – including that of one of the Rally Australia officials, near Taylor's Arm on the rally route. The NSW Rural Fire Service has warned that "bad, if not worse conditions" are expected on Tuesday, with a much broader area, including Sydney, at risk. From the Rally Australia headquarters at the Opal Cove Resort in Coffs Harbour this morning, the smoke was so thick that you couldn't see the beach, just 200 metres away.
"When people are losing their lives, their houses, their cattle and their fences, we need to remember that Rally Australia is just a sporting event," a key event official said this morning.

Roads in and around Macksville were closed on Sunday morning. Photo: Ben Dubbeld

Rally fan, Ben Dubbeld, is on the Coffs Coast today and was planning to look over some stages ahead of the event, but roads are currently closed. His photos from around Macksville show the urgency of the situation. Event organisers are currently working on a possible revised rally route, but that will all depend on the weather conditions over the coming days. It appears that if the rally is to go ahead, the stages will be run in the Bucca and Wedding Bells area, with multiple runs of the Destination NSW Super Special Stage in Coffs Harbour, and at the Raleigh Raceway stage. But that's still a couple of days away, and there's a lot that can happen between now and then. The national events due to be run in conjunction with Rally Australia have already been cancelled. RallySport Magazine sends its best wishes to the fire crews battling the blazes, and to those directly impacted by the fires. We all hope the rally is on, but it is "just a sporting event".

A RFS crew leaves Macksville to battle the bush fires on Sunday morning. Photo: Ben Dubbeld

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