NSW fires LIVE updates: State of emergency declared amid worsening bushfires, heatwave

19 December 2019

Published by https://www.smh.com.au/


What we know so far

What is certain is that firefighters will be battling long into the night, and are hoping that progress can be made in slightly-better conditions tomorrow, before it gets extremely hot and windy again on Saturday. New South Wales in a state of emergency.

The Currowan fire is back at emergency level

The massive blaze on the south coast is at emergency level again, as it burns between Batemans Bay and Ulladulla and east of Braidwood.

Here is some footage of a water-bombing  plane picking up water from nearby Burrill Lake today, to help fight the fire.

Santa grounded at Cronulla Mall

Due to the poor air quality in the area, Santa photos were cancelled at Cronulla Mall on Thursday.

Ironically, that shock of blue in the background is Scott Morrison’s office, in his local electorate of Cook. The PM has come under fire for his absence this week, culminating in protests outside Kirribilli House earlier today.

AAP reported that ten people including Greens MP David Shoebridge were arrested as climate protesters launched a “camp-out” at Mr Morrison’s Sydney prime ministerial residence.

NSW Police said nine adults and a child had been arrested for disobeying a police direction to move on.

Protesters, including students representing the School Strike 4 Climate movement, set up tents on the road outside Mr Morrison’s official residence on Thursday morning, calling it the “Kirribilli camp-out”.

They are calling on the federal government to take immediate action on climate change and urged no new coal and gas projects, a transition to 100 per cent renewables and funding for affected fossil fuel workers.

A third fire at emergency level: Kerry Ridge

The fires at Gospers Mountain and Green Wattle Creek continue to burn at emergency level, and now a third fire in the Wollemi National Park, Putty State Forest and Coricudgy State Forest has joined them.

The Kerry Ridge fire, west of Muswellbrook, is out of control and more than 81,000 hectares in size. Residents in Olinda, Nullo Mountain and Bogee have been told it’s too late to leave.

Anthony Albanese spotted loading up on supplies

The federal Opposition Leader was spotted at a supermarket in Marrickville, loading up on supplies before a trip to the Blue Mountains to visit with Rural Fire Service volunteers.

Mr Albanese will be heading up to fire-affected areas early tomorrow morning.

Here’s how close our team got to the fire today

Reporter Laura Chung was in Bilpin today, alongside photographer Nick Moir just metres away from the fire. She filmed this footage:

Animals flee and fire crews rush to prepare as the mega-fire turns towards Bilpin.

Along a road in Berambing at about 4pm this afternoon, flames filled the tree canopy and fire whirls appeared when the main front of the Gospers Mountain backburn caught up with a spot fire.

Firefighters raced to the scene, attempting to stop the fire crossing the road but were pushed back as it grew in intensity.

Embers rained down nearby, starting smaller spot fires that were quickly enveloped by the larger one.

Three hours after the fire ripped through the area, we’ve been escorted back through the street.


Sydney set to swelter

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting maximum temperatures of 47 degrees for the Penrith CBD on Saturday, and 33 degrees in the Sydney CBD.

Saturday is expected to be the next big test for the state’s over-stretched firefighters, as conditions are expected to worsen after easing slightly on Friday.

More than 100 fires are already burning across the state, about half of which have not been contained. Two are at emergency levels.

‘It roared over the road’

The Herald‘s chief photographer Nick Moir remains in Berambing, which sits on the Bells Line of Road in the Blue Mountains.

Fire and Rescue NSW workers attempted to stop the emergency-level Gospers Mountain fire from crossing the Bells Line of Road to no avail, he says.

“It roared over the road, destroying power lines and cutting the various Fire Brigade resources in half stuck on either side of the fire,” he says.

New record temperature for December

Firefighters battle in Berambing

The Herald‘s chief photographer Nick Moir is on the ground in Berambing in the Blue Mountains.

He captured these images as Fire and Rescue NSW workers were confronted by a wall of fire as the Gospers Mountain fire crossed the Bells Line of Road.

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