Fire fighters at the bush fire at Drake.
Fire fighters at the bush fire at Drake. Marc Stapelberg

Plan for bushfire now as weather conditions worsen: RFS

RESIDENTS in fire-prone bushland areas should action their bushfire survival plan now as weather conditions worsen, the NSW Rural Fire Service said.

RFS said there are very high fire danger ratings in place for the weekend for the Northern Rivers LGA's, and a total fire ban for New England LGA's, including Tenterfield.

Weather is expected to worsen today with increasing temperatures and strong north westerly winds, bringing more widespread fire activity.

Sweltering weather has been felt all over the country, and parts of South Australia sweltered through their hottest October day in more than a century, reaching temperatures in excess of 40C.

According to the RFS, yesterday there were 46 bush and grass fires burning across NSW with 16 yet to be contained.

NSW RFS Inspector Daniel Ainsworth said it was a very high fire danger rating.

"The Busbys Flat fire is classed as contained," Insp Ainsworth said.

"We've got crews now working on putting out any sign of smoke or anything anywhere near our fire lines.

"Winds are now north westerly which will bring low humidities, which is why the fire danger has gone back up to very high.

"It's a matter of our crews on scene and putting out smoke near any control lines to ensure it stays contained."

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast Severe Fire Danger in place today for the North Coast, Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney Region, Central Ranges, New England, Northern Slopes and North Western.

Ann Farrell, NSW/ACT Manager, Bureau of Meteorology said temperatures will reach 6-10C above parts of the north-east today.

"Heat has been building across the state due to a persistent high pressure system over the Tasman Sea directing a warm, dry northerly air-mass across the state," Ms Farrell said.

She said cooler conditions were coming as a cold front down south will move through to the northeast of NSW on Sunday.

"Hot, dry and windy conditions ahead of the front are leading to elevated fire dangers across much of the northeast on Saturday.

"Strong winds will also lead to raised dust over the state's west, possibly reaching parts of the central and southern ranges.

"Saturday is expected to be the windiest day, particularly for locations along the ranges and the coast.

"Winds are forecast to increase during the morning and weaken during the evening. Strong and gusty winds may bring down branches and power lines."

Lismore will reach 33C today, 34C in Casino, and along the coast temperatures are forecast in the mid to high 20s, with very windy conditions.

There's a Strong Wind Warning in place for Byron Bay today.

The NSW Rural Fire Service advises you to:

  • Action your Bushfire Survival Plan now.
  • Monitor the fire and weather situation through your local radio station, www.rfs.nsw.gov.au and www.bom.gov.au.
  • Call 000 (Triple Zero) in an emergency.

The Rural Fire Service advises that if you are in an area of Severe Fire Danger:

  • If you plan to leave finalise your options and leave early on the day
  • Only stay if your home is well prepared and you can actively defend it
  • Prepare for the emotional, mental and physical impact of defending your property - if in doubt, leave.

For information on preparing for bushfires go to www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.



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