NSW bushfires: Fire danger spikes amid hot, windy weather


Firefighters are on high alert with sweltering heat and gusty winds sparking increased fire danger along the NSW coast.

There are fears dangerous conditions today could flare up fires in parts of the state aided by rain in recent weeks.

A total fire ban is in place across 21 regions in NSW,with the mercury set to rise into the 40s.

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media_cameraThe NSW RFS is warning people not to be complacent after the rain as hot weather and winds bear down on NSW on Thursday, bringing possible severe and extreme fire risk in large parts of the state. Picture: BSCH

There are concerns that gale-force winds could whip up flames in the state’s south east. At 6am, there were 65 fires burning across NSW.

Sydney, the Hunter, Illawarra, the South Coast, Southern and Central Ranges, and North Western NSW are all facing severe fire danger.

Temperatures will hit the low 40s in Sydney, the city’s south west, the Hunter, Illawarra and parts of the Mid North Coast.

In the Central Tablelands and South Coast, temperatures will be in the mid to high 30s.

Temperatures are starting to rise across NSW. The sun was blazing at North Narrabeen beach on Thursday morning. Photo Jeremy Piperpacific.epeak.in/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/NSW-bushfires-Fire-danger-spikes-amid-hot-windy-weather.webp”/>
media_cameraTemperatures are starting to rise across NSW. The sun was blazing at North Narrabeen beach on Thursday morning. Photo Jeremy Piper

A severe weather warning for damaging winds is in place from Katoomba through to Wollongong and down to Cooma and near Wagga Wagga.

Vigorous winds reaching up to 120km/h will lash the state’s southeast ahead of a cold front this morning.

RFS Inspector Ben Shephard said hot and windy weather could resurrect fires doused in the rainy weather in recent weeks.

“Our concern is that any of the old firegrounds with unburnt pockets of bush, could see some activity along those firegrounds, so all of the fires along the South Coast and the Southern Highlands, but we are also continuing to monitor the Blue Mountains and Gospers Mountain fires,” he said.

“It’s another potentially dangerous day today.”

Residents in bushfire-prone areas and near fires should brace themselves for worsening conditions, Insp Shephard said, and discuss their plans as soon as possible.

Residents near bushfire-prone areas are being urged to be vigilant and consider their plans if fires flare up. Picture Gary Ramagepacific.epeak.in/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/1579745797_602_NSW-bushfires-Fire-danger-spikes-amid-hot-windy-weather.webp”/>
media_cameraResidents near bushfire-prone areas are being urged to be vigilant and consider their plans if fires flare up. Picture Gary Ramage
Authorities are warning that fires could be resurrected near parts doused by rain. Picture Rohan Kellypacific.epeak.in/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/1579745800_442_NSW-bushfires-Fire-danger-spikes-amid-hot-windy-weather.jpeg”/>
media_cameraAuthorities are warning that fires could be resurrected near parts doused by rain. Picture Rohan Kelly

Dozens of fires are currently raging in the path of the gusty winds, placing crews on high alert.

Authorities are also warning that areas of smoke haze are possible this afternoon as winds pick-up.

Residents are being urged to move vehicles away from trees, stay away from fallen power lines and remain vigilant as authorities warn of increased risks of trees and branches falling.

The hot and windy conditions are set to ease on Friday, with temperatures dropping into the 20s along with the chance of rain.

Fire danger could again increase mid to late next week with temperatures again set to increase.

Originally published as Bushfire warning as hot 120km/h winds threaten NSW



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