New South Wales, Australia — A major bushfire has broken containment linesand is threatening properties in rugged high country near Tumut in southern NSW.
With a total fire ban in force over much of the state, authorities say theblaze burning out of control in the Bondo pine plantation, 30km northeast ofTumut, is igniting spot fires ahead of its front.
The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has advised people in Argalong and the UpperGoobragandra River Valley to prepare for ember attacks.
A community meeting was held at the Lacmalac Hall on Wednesday night todiscuss the threat and police have visited properties to warn others.
Extra firefighting resources have been rushed to the area with conditionsexpected to worsen during the day.
More than 300 firefighters, along with 12 water bombing aircraft, will workon the fire over the next 24 hours, the RFS says.
The front is expected to continue in a southwesterly direction, funnellingthrough the Upper Goobragandra River Valley.
The areas contain rural land holdings, hobby farms, pine plantations andfishing cabins.
The fire has burnt out about 13,000ha of pine plantation in the Bondo,Billapaloola and Buccleuch State Forests.
The Brindabella Road is closed between Piccadilly Circus and 10 km east ofTumut.
Wee Jasper Forest Road is also closed until further notice.
Meanwhile, a hot day is forecast for the greater Sydney region, withtemperatures expected to peak at 37 degrees Celsius in the western suburbs and ahigh of 30 forecast for the CBD.
Temperatures in other NSW cities and towns, including Wagga Wagga, Bathurst,Newcastle and Bega should also reach the low 30s, while a top of 38 degrees isforecast for Dubbo.
The Rural Fire Service has issued a total fire ban for the greater Sydneyregion, Illawarra and Shoalhaven, the far south coast, Monaro Alpine and theSouthern Ranges.
The 24-hour ban, which began at midnight, is also in place for the lowercentral west plains, southern slopes, eastern, southern and northern Riverina aswell as the south-western and far western regions of the state.