Eastern Australia is facing its first major test of the wildfire season today as scorching temperatures take over several states.
“It is without a doubt the worst day for fire hazard since last fire season,” said NSW RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers. Today.
“There are 38 fires and three that are not under control at the moment.
“Crews have worked overnight to contain these fires, which has been successful.
“But it’s really about these new ignitions today, they are what we are concerned about.”
There is a severe fire hazard warning for the Far North Coast, North Coast, Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney Region, and Northwest Region.
There is also a very high fire hazard for Illawarra, Shoalhaven, Central Ranges, New England, and Northern Slopes.
“Because they have that drought-breaking rain, there has been significant growth in those areas,” Rogers said.
“That’s a really bigger risk in the grasslands than we’ve seen in probably five years or so.
“In these conditions, the grass fire takes hold, in the worst wind conditions it will move terribly fast and be extremely dangerous.”
“It will be a very long day for the people and the firefighters. We’ve already seen several fires break out today,” Rogers said.
Most of the National Parks in NSW have closed their tracks and trails as an added security measure.
Five cities in New South Wales and a Sydney suburb topped their November high, including here in Sydney’s Olympic Park, which hit 41.5 degrees.
Teams in Queensland are focusing on preventing a fire burning on Fraser Island from invading two major tourist destinations.
The fire has already washed away 74,000 hectares of land and crews are concerned that today’s weather could cause the fire to jump over containment lines.
“With today’s higher temperatures and stronger north winds, that will really put those containment lines to the test,” said QFES Superintendent John Pappas.
About 3 miles south of the fire is the King Fisher Bay Resort, where crews have warned people to prepare.
“We put more fire fighting equipment in the complex and also in Happy Valley Township to protect those assets in the event the fire breaks out today under those stronger winds,” Pappas said.
The fire started six weeks ago, however heat wave conditions over the past 48 hours have caused the fire to strengthen significantly.
Emergency crews warn that high firefighting conditions are only expected to continue throughout the state as temperatures rise.
Areas around Queensland are expected to surpass the 40 ° C mark with Ipswich forecast 48 ° C today.
The west of the state that will bear the brunt of the heat wave with Birdsville is expected to hit 46 ° C and emergency crews warn this will only get worse during the week.
Approximately 40 fires are currently burning in Queensland.