A total fire ban has been declared for the Central Ranges, New England, North Western, Northern Slopes, Southern Ranges, Southern Slopes, Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, and Illawarra/Shoalhaven regions tomorrow, Wednesday February 14, due to forecast hot and windy conditions.
The total fire ban, commencing at midnight tonight, covers the following council areas:
- Central Ranges (Severe) - Bathurst, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Lithgow, Mid-Western, Oberon, Orange
- Greater Hunter (Severe) - Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Singleton, Upper Hunter
- Greater Sydney Region (Severe) - including the Blue Mountains and Central Coast
- Illawarra/Shoalhaven (Severe) - Kiama, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven, Wingecarribee, Wollondilly, Wollongong
- New England (Very High) - Armidale Dumaresq, Glen Innes Severn, Guyra, Tenterfield, Uralla, Walcha
- North Western (Severe) - Moree Plains, Narrabri, Walgett, Warrumbungle
- Northern Slopes (Severe) - Gunnedah, Gwydir, Inverell, Liverpool Plains, Tamworth
- Southern Ranges (Severe) - Goulburn Mulwaree, Palerang, Queanbeyan, Upper Lachlan, Yass Valley
- Southern Slopes (Very High) - Boorowa, Cootamundra, Gundagai, Harden, Tumbarumba, Tumut, Young
NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons confirmed that hot and windy conditions are forecast, with the potential for much of NSW to experience elevated fire danger.
“Already this summer we have seen record-breaking temperatures in many areas,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.
A Total Fire Ban has been declared for nine areas across NSW tomorrow. These include Greater Sydney Region, Greater Hunter, Illawarra Shoalhaven, Southern Ranges, Southern Slopes, Central Ranges, North Western, Northern Slopes and New England areas #nswrfshttps://t.co/NP7Ww4FW2qpic.twitter.com/asSrELQqxc— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) February 13, 2018
“This week we will see strong south westerly to westerly winds develop and coupled with the heat we’ve already experienced, the landscape is very susceptible to fire.
“That’s why it’s so important that landholders, homeowners, businesses and travellers seriously consider how they could be impacted and start planning now.
“Use today and tonight to have a discussion about what you will do if a fire starts near you, so everyone in your household knows your bush fire survival plan.
“With many parents back at work and kids at school, people need to consider what to do if fire threatens when the family is separated.”
Temperatures are forecast to hit tops of 41 in Bourke tomorrow, 36 in Broken Hill, 39 in Tamworth, 38 in Dubbo, 32 in Hay, 35 in Young, 33 in Goulburn, 34 in Bathurst, 40 in Scone, 33 in Armidale and 40 in Penrith in Sydney’s west tomorrow.
NSW RFS says in severe and very high fire conditions well prepared homes that are actively defended can provide safety during a fire, but everybody should follow their Bush Fire Survival Plan and remain vigilant.
The NSW RFS may issue a Harvest Safety Alert for areas of heightened risk. Harvest operators should monitor conditions and regularly check they are operating within guidelines.
- To sow or not to sow on forecast
- Climate engineering to cope with heatwave extremes from climate change
No fires may be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended during a total fire ban. Gas and electric barbeques may be used provided certain conditions are met.
Total fire ban rules, a map of current total fire ban areas, and the lastest fire updates are listed at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.