- Total Fire Ban.
- Severe fire danger.
- Gale force wind warning.
A total fire ban is in place in the Bega Valley until midnight tonight as the shire experiences severe fire danger conditions.
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Temperatures reached 32 degrees at 10am, accompanied by strong northerly winds. Conditions are expected to change dramatically when a strong southerly change crosses the state this afternoon (Thursday) and Friday.
The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) said further north, in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven the fire danger is extreme.
NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said hot, dry and windy conditions mean there is the potential for some locations to reach catastrophic if the weather deteriorates beyond what is forecast.
“These conditions mean there is potential for the rapid spread of fire," he said.
"The NSW RFS, along with its colleagues at Fire and Rescue NSW, National Parks and Wildlife NSW are preparing for these conditions by dedicating resources such as firefighters, tankers and aircraft to these areas. "
“A Bush Fire Survival Plan is vital in these conditions. With the possibility of Extreme Fire Danger I cannot stress enough the importance of a completed plan.
“It’s also important that residents prepare their property and clear it of fuel such as leaves in gutters and wood piles near buildings,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.
“These are dangerous conditions, and it’s critical that you understand the risk and make your final preparations now – do not leave it until the last minute,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.
“Under these conditions, any fire that starts and takes hold will spread quickly and may threaten homes and lives without warning.
“It is not too late to make a Bush Fire Survival Plan.
“If you live in or near a bushland area, sit down with your family tonight and ensure everyone knows what they will do if there is a fire.
“The NSW RFS is liaising closely with the Bureau of Meteorology to monitor conditions.”
Extreme is the second highest level of bushfire danger rating.
If there is a fire which takes hold under these conditions, it may not be safe to stay in any home that is not specially designed or modified for bushfires.
The safest option is to leave early.
Key advice for people in bushfire prone areas
Make a Bush Fire Survival Plan – it is not too late to do it tonight. Download your plan from www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, so you know what you and your family will do if a fire threatens
Report fires to 000.
For more information contact the NSW Rural Fire Service on 1800 679 737 or visit http://www.bushfire.nsw.gov.au/