Australia on high bushfire risk prompting the closure of some schools
Australia faces a high risk of forest fires, prompting the closure of some schools
Hot temperatures continue to prevail in parts of southeastern Australia, bringing a high risk of bushfires and forcing the closure of some schools.
A total fire ban was declared for the NSW south coast and the Greater Sydney region on Tuesday, when temperatures are expected to reach 33 degrees Celsius.
Angus Hines from the Bureau of Meteorology said Wednesday would be hotter, at 34 degrees Celsius, with parts of South Australia and Queensland also feeling the heat.
“Most of Australia will be under moderate to high heat for the next few days,” he said.
There is a forest fire threat now that the heat wave is gripping much of the east coast
“The NSW south coast has a small area of extreme fire danger there, overlapping with Tuesday’s heatwave conditions.”
It is the first total fire ban for Greater Sydney since late November 2020, NSW Rural Fire Service spokesperson Ben Shepherd said.
“It looks like it’s going to be a hot, dry and windy few days,” he said.
Heatwave warnings are in force for Sydney, parts of the Hunter and the south coast.
The NSW Education Department has listed 20 schools that will be closed on Tuesday on the state’s south coast.
“Schools at increased risk of bushfires will be temporarily closed… as extreme fire danger ratings are announced,” a statement said.
The fire ban and school closures apply in areas including the Bega Valley and the Eurobodalla Shire.
People needed to be prepared, RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers said.
“It’s the biggest risk we’ve faced since the Black Summer fires of 2019,” he noted.
The heat is expected to shift north to parts of Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia later this week, with highs of up to 40 degrees Celsius.
A severe wind warning is in effect for parts of the NSW Snowy Mountains and south-west slopes on Tuesday, with winds expected to become more damaging and widespread across the state on Wednesday ahead of a cold front.
Mr Hines said emergency services were on alert because of the wind.
“We will have warm, windy weather around Sydney and the Hunter on Wednesday, with extreme fire danger in those regions.”
High to extreme fire dangers will be more widespread on Thursday, including much of Queensland’s Channel Country.
Fire crews have been busy in the NSW Hunter and south-eastern parts of Queensland, with a fire in Beerwah on the Sunshine Coast alternating between advice and watch and action for days.
Full list of school closures:
Batemans Bay Public School
Bega Valley public school
Bemboka public school
Bermagui public school
Bodalla public school
Bournda Environmental Education Center
Broulee public school
Candelo public school
Tilba Central Public School
Public school Cobargo
Mogo public school
Narooma High School
Pambula public school
Quaama public school
Sunshine Bay Public School
Public school Tanja
Public school Tathra
Towamba Public School
Wolumla public school
Wyndham public school