Australia prepares for 'catastrophic' conditions as bushfire blazes on

12 Novembre, 2019, 09:22 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Smoke rising from a bush fire as firefighters surveyed the situation in Old Bar near Taree in New South Wales yesterday. More than 100 fires were still burning across New South Wales and Queensland states

North of New South Wales, wildfires destroyed nine homes on Monday in Queensland state, where air quality plummeted in Brisbane, the state capital, and surrounding cities to the lowest possible rating of "very poor".

Both states have had states of fire emergency declared fires services to use private property to fight the blaze, with Catastrophic fire conditions present. "We don't have capital city greenies around here, we have farmers coming to us and saying, "look what's happened to my farm, I can't afford to feed the cows anymore because I've been buying feed for the last 18 months", she said.

The Greater Sydney area spans west to the Blue Mountains and north to the Central Coast.

"With catastrophic weather conditions predicted for this week, particularly Tuesday with hot weather and strong winds, I have chose to take the Commissioner's advice and make this declaration".

The Greater Sydney, Great Hunter, and Illawarra Shoalhaven areas are tomorrow expected to enter Catastrophic fire danger conditions, the highest level of bush fire danger, making it the first time Greater Sydney has entered that category since it was introduced in 2009.

"And with the high winds there's very little the authorities can do to stop the fires once they start".

The ratings were based on forecasts of temperature, moisture and humidity, wind speed and also a landscape dryness measure, Claire Yeo from the Bureau of Meteorology said.

A resident puts out small fires as he rides his motorcycle in Old Bar, New South Wales, Australia, 10 November 2019.

"Is the NSW RFS telling people to evacuate?"

In this October 9, 2019, photo, New South Wales (NSW) state Emergency Services Minister David Elliott speaks during a press conference at the NSW Rural Fire Service Headquarters at Sydney Olympic Park in Sydney.

"It is not without question that spotting activity can be well and truly over 20 kilometres ahead of the main fire front", he said.

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Suburbs near bushland are the most at risk, authorities have warned.

Springwood in the Blue Mountains has nearly 6500 properties close to or in the bush, with another 4000 in neighbouring Blaxland.

The NSW fires have claimed three lives and so far destroyed more than 150 homes. Homes are not created to withstand a fire under these conditions.

On Tuesday, hot, dry, and windy weather was forecast to worsen the situation.

A smoke haze settled over Sydney on Tuesday morning.

The RFS commissioner expanded on his comments on Tuesday.

The number of out-of-control fires across NSW has grown to 40, with 71 fires in total, NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told reporters this afternoon.

"Safest options might include going to a local shopping centre, going into town where you're not in the bushfire prone area".

"We've deliberately closed parks, we've deliberately closed open areas, it's all in the interests of safety".

Emergency Services Minister David Elliott warned residents were facing what "could be the most risky bushfire week this nation has ever seen".


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