HOW HOT? Season comes early as fire danger ramps up

IT MAY not be summer quite yet, but the temperatures will be heading for the sky over the weekend and into next week.

And with the temperatures come warnings from fire authorities about the danger the heat and dry land presents.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting temperatures well into the 30s starting from today, with Grafton’s temperature to hit 30 today.

Over the next four days in Grafton, there are forecast maximums of 35, 32, 36 and 31 before a cooler change comes on Wednesday falling to 28.

In Yamba, the temperature will reach 30 on Saturday, with winds of up to 30km/h expected throughout the weekend.

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The high temperatures have led to the Clarence Valley District Rural Fire Service to warn of high fire dangers over the coming period.

Through a Facebook post, they have said that as the landscape continues to dry out and with the forecast hot/dry weather expected, now is not a good time to be considering any broad scale burning off.

Fire warning maps for the Clarence Valley over this weekend
Fire warning maps for the Clarence Valley over this weekend

“Permits for burning within the Clarence Valley can be obtained through contacting your local brigade,” it said.

“But when Fire Danger Ratings reach Very High or above, permits are suspended.

The fire rating for today is High, and is expected to be Very High for both Saturday and Sunday, and the RFS asks all people to remain vigilant.

Their maps also show the Keetch Byram Drought Index for both Grafton and Yamba, which is calculation of soil dryness by the Bureau of Meteorology.

This week, Grafton’s rating is at 109, and Yamba’s at 114, with a rating between 100-200 considered “extreme”. The rating is not as high as at the same time last year, where Grafton was at 185 and Yamba 145.

Fire warning maps for the Clarence Valley over this weekend
Fire warning maps for the Clarence Valley over this weekend

The Bureau of Meteorology also has strong wind warnings active today and tomorrow for the Byron and Coffs Coast region.



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