Fire weather in NSW worries authorities

Fire weather in NSW worries authorities

27 November 2009

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Australia– After a tough week for NSW firefighters, crews are again on high alert as hot and dry conditions are forecast for much of the state over the weekend.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has issued a fire weather warning for Saturday, with hot, dry and windy conditions expected to raise fire danger to serious levels in parts of the state.

NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) spokeswoman Rebel Talbert said firefighters will be closely monitoring existing fires in the Hawkesbury, Lithgow, Eurobodalla, Bega and Narrabri areas.

All those areas are expected to experience temperatures in the low to mid 30s on Saturday, with a maximum temperature of 40 degrees Celsius forecast for Narrabri, the BoM website said.

Ms Talbert said firefighters will be on the lookout for new blazes, with humidity as low as seven per cent also predicted in some areas.

“During days where we see very low humidity and high temperatures with strong northwesterly winds, fires move very rapidly and are very hard to contain and control,” she said.

“And they can spot some distance and create new fires ahead of the main fire front.

“So we do have concerns that fires tomorrow are going to be very hard to control.”

Ms Talbert said firefighters had been working on many fires throughout the week, including 56 on Friday.

“So it’s been a very long, hot and difficult week for them,” she told AAP.

There are total fire bans in place from midnight (AEDT) on Friday for the Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Far South Coast, Central Ranges, Southern Ranges, Monaro Alpine, Northern Slopes, Northwestern, Upper Central West Plains, Lower Central West Plains areas.

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