Millions of people have been warned to take immediate action as hot, dry and “incredibly” windy conditions are expected to spark new wildfires and bushfires across New South Wales.
The Coolagolite fire near Bermagui on the New South Wales south coast that broke out on Tuesday destroyed two homes and spread across 7,380 hectares.
The NSW Rural Fire Service had reported 59 “incidents” as of Thursday morning, including at least 31 fires, and many more are expected, with temperatures expected to rise above 30 degrees across the state.
Extreme fire danger warnings and outright fire bans were issued on Thursday for Greater Sydney, the Hunter Valley, northwest New South Wales and the lower and upper central west of the state.
Several schools were subsequently closed while residents were urged to familiarize themselves with the fire warning systems in place.
Millions of people have been warned to take immediate action as hot, dry and “incredibly” windy conditions are expected to spark new wildfires and bushfires across New South Wales
Extreme fire danger warnings and full fire bans have been issued for Greater Sydney, the Hunter Valley, northwest New South Wales and the lower and upper central west of the state
The Coolagolite fire near Bermagui on the New South Wales south coast that broke out on Tuesday destroyed two homes and spread across 7,380 hectares
In the new fire warning system, “extreme fire danger” means “take action now to protect life and property.”
It also means residents should “implement their bushfire survival plan now”, the Bureau of Meteorology warned.
The The NSW Department of Education closed six schools in the central west on the day. They are The Warrumbungle National Park Environmental Education Center and Tooraweenah, Quambone, Marra Creek, Hermidale and Girilambone public schools.
The BoM warned of “hot and dry with fresh to strong and gusty north to northwest winds”, followed by thunderstorms.
“We are expecting quite hot, dry and incredibly windy conditions as we begin to see this increased fire danger across most of New South Wales,” NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Inspector Ben Shepherd said. ABC.
“We obviously just want the public to adhere to these warnings and bans because the last thing we need is new fires on the landscape.”
He stressed that current conditions were likely to persist for the rest of the year and throughout the summer.
He said the bushfire threat had “returned” for large parts of New South Wales.
Winds would “shift to the southwest in the evening,” the BoM said.
“Extreme fire danger is forecast for the following fire weather districts: Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney Region, North Western, Upper Central West Plains and Lower Central West Plains.”
Temperatures are expected to rise to 35 degrees in Penrith, while temperatures in Sydney city and surrounding suburbs will reach 32 degrees.
All of New South Wales is under an extreme or high fire danger on Thursday
What the four fire danger levels mean across Australia
Six schools across NSW were closed on Thursday due to extreme fire risks in their local communities. Pictured: Tooraweenah Public School, one of the schools closed
Alongside Sydney, the main towns facing a total fire ban are Newcastle, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Singleton, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens, Narrabri, Walgett and Coonamble. Gilgandra, Forbes, Parkes and Dubbo.
Almost all of the upper Hunter Valley, including Newcastle, is expected to reach 34 degrees, while temperatures are also expected to reach 34 degrees in the Illawarra, the south coast, the southern tablelands, the north-west and central-west slopes and plains, and the upper west of New South Wales Could be 30 degrees.
From Murrumbidgee in the north, the entire state of NSW, with a population of eight million, is at high risk, meaning residents should be “ready for action” and know what to do if a fire breaks out.
In September last year, Australia’s fire risk rating system was simplified and now includes four levels: catastrophic, extreme, high and moderate.
“Catastrophic” means people should leave an area to survive, while “extreme” – which now applies to four major areas of New South Wales – means residents should take action now to protect lives and property .
High risk means people should be ready to act, and moderate risk means they need to “plan and prepare.”
On the updated signs, the white bar below the middle level indicates “No Rating” for days when no action is required.
In Victoria, a severe weather warning has been issued for large areas north of Melbourne, from central to eastern and northern Gippsland, due to damaging wind gusts.
“Damaging wind gusts of around 100 km/h are possible on Thursday morning.”
Marra Creek was one of six closed schools in the NSW Central West
FIVE DAY FORECAST IN AUSTRALIA
Thursday: Sunny. Maximum 27
Friday. Sunny. Min 14 Max 31
Saturday: Sunny. Min. 16 Max. 32
Sunday: Sunny. Min 17 Max 33
Thursday: Shower or two. Maximum 19
Friday. Partly cloudy. Min 10 Max 19
Saturday: shower(s). Min 11 Max 19
Sunday: shower(s). Min 11 Max 19
Thursday: Showers, possible storm. Maximum 19
Friday. Cloudy. Min. 9, Max. 17
Saturday: shower. Min 11 Max 18
Sunday: Showers are increasing. Min. 9, Max. 16.
Thursday: showers, windy. Maximum 18
Friday. Have a shower. Min. 9, Max. 16
Saturday: shower(s). Min 10 Max 17
Sunday: shower(s). Min. 6 Max. 14
Thursday: showers, windy. Maximum 27
Friday. Sunny. Min. 2 Max. 19
Saturday: Sunny. Min. 4 Max. 20
Sunday: Partly cloudy. Min. 4 Max. 19
Thursday: Sunny, late gusty changes. Maximum 32
Friday. Sunny. Min 12 Max 23
Saturday: Sunny. Min. 12 Max. 28
Sunday: Mostly sunny. Min 15 Max 26
Thursday: Mostly sunny. Maximum 28
Friday. Sunny. Min 17 Max 32
Saturday: Partly cloudy. Min 18 Max 28
Sunday: Sunny. Min 17 Max 31
Thursday: Mostly sunny. Maximum 35
Friday. Mostly sunny. Min 25 Max 36
Saturday: Mostly sunny. Min 25 Max 37
Sunday: Mostly sunny. Min 25 Max 36