NSW Rural Fire Service declares statewide total fire ban ahead of hot, windy conditions



February 12, 2019 05:04:56

A total fire ban is in place across New South Wales today, with strong winds, low humidity and temperatures in some parts expected to hit 40 degrees Celsius.

It is the first statewide total fire ban for 2019.

Conditions will be worst in the Hunter region, where the fire danger rating is extreme, while nine other regions across the state — including the Greater Sydney region, north coast, central and southern ranges — are expecting severe conditions.

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said conditions across the state were considered high-risk.

“People need to be vigilant, the risk is very real,” he said.

“We’ve been very fortunate not to have winds over the last couple of months but we’ve certainly got a pretty significant day of wind … people need to be vigilant.”

He urged residents across the state to prepare their properties, and have a clear plan in place should fire threaten.

Winds up to 95kph are expected through the southern ranges, while the central ranges can expect winds of up to 75kph.

The Hunter region is expect gusts of up to 60kph, but temperatures are forecast to reach 39C in Maitland, Muswelbrook and Gloucester, while Singleton is expected to peak at 40C.

Humidity in the Hunter region is also expected to be below 10 per cent.

The NSW Rural Fire Service will deploy extra units to areas of higher fire danger throughout the day.

Commissioner Fitzsimmons said a cool change was expected to start moving through late in the afternoon but would not hit the south-west corner of the state until about 4:00pm.

Relief for Sydney and the northern part of the state is not expected until after midnight.







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