Strong winds, high temperatures fan fires in north-eastern NSW

Strong winds, high temperatures fan fires in north-eastern NSW

14 February 2018

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AUSTRALIA – Hot, windy weather across north-eastern NSW has had firefighters battling a number of blazes on Wednesday, including a grass fire in Mount Druitt that severely damaged a townhouse.

Temperatures in Penrith, Richmond and parts of the Hunter reached 40 degrees, with hot, dry, westerly winds creating difficult and dangerous conditions for firefighters.

An emergency warning has been issued for residents near a major bushfire burning out of control in the Wollemi National Park near Putty, north-west of Newcastle. Residents around Bakers Road were advised it is now too late to leave, and to prepare to take shelter from the blaze that’s burnt through more than 6000 hectares.

Just after 9:30pm, the Rural Fire Service tweeted that a small number of residents have remained at well prepared properties, and warned those who had left not to return.
Almost 30 other fires are burning across the state ahead of a southerly change set to sweep up the coast on Wednesday evening, bringing damaging winds that are expected to fan the flames.

While the cool change will bring a drop in temperatures tonight, Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Rebecca Kamitakahara said the relief will be short lived. The mercury will rise again on Thursday to around the mid-30s.

An extreme fire warning remains is in place in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven area, with a total fire ban there on Thursday in addition to the Southern Ranges, Central Ranges, northern slopes and north-western areas.

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