Bushfire sparks evacuations at Briagolong, Culloden, Moornapa, Stockdale
Residents of four regional towns have been warned to evacuate as an out-of-control bushfire rages through southeastern Victoria and extreme fire warnings choke large parts of the NSW coast.
The Victorian Government warned residents of Briagolong, Culloden, Moornapa, Stockdale and surrounding areas, east of Melbourne, to ‘evacuate immediately’ as a fire rages on Duffy Rd near Briagolong.
The bushfire is not yet under control by firefighters and is currently spreading in a southeasterly direction, with residents advised that the best evacuation route was south towards Sale on Briagolong Rd.
A second warning was also in force on Sunday for a number of remote communities north of Morwell – south-east of the other fire – where an out-of-control bushfire is burning in Rawson, Walhalla and Erica.
Millions of families are being warned to be on alert after an extreme fire warning was issued for large parts of NSW, including the Greater Sydney region, where temperatures are expected to rise.
Residents of four regional towns have been warned to evacuate as an out-of-control bushfire rages through southeastern Victoria, while extreme fire warnings are smothering large parts of the NSW coast. Photo: Vic Emergency
The warning will be in effect for much of the state’s coastline for the rest of Sunday, including the Greater Hunter and Far South Coast, as well as the North Western and Upper Central West Plains.
The Bureau of Meteorology warned of a south-westerly change on Sunday with a move through southern parts of the state, bringing strong and gusty winds along the south coast.
Families traveling over the holiday weekend were previously warned to brace for ‘high-risk’ bushfires after a snap ban was imposed in some of NSW’s most sought-after tourist destinations.
Australia’s eastern states are forecast to swelter with temperatures expected to reach 36 degrees Celsius over the holiday weekend, leading to a ban on solid fuel fires in national parks on the NSW south coast.
NPWS South Coast director Kane Weeks said campfires and solid fuel fires were ‘too risky’ under current conditions, with travelers instead limiting themselves to gas, liquid fuel or electric heaters.
“Right along the coastal and slope reserves, dry conditions combined with hot, dry weather mean campfires are a risk in bushland areas across the region,” Mr Weeks said.
The ‘park fire ban’ means that only gas, liquid fuel stoves and electric barbecues may be used. Image: supplied
Australia is set for a scorcher on Sunday as records fall on the day of the NRL Grand Final
‘Forest fires can be started very easily by the sparks of a campfire… All it takes is a gust of wind and we could have a forest fire. There are many examples of campfires causing large forest fires.”
Total fire bans were already in place across the state on Sunday, including on the Far South Coast, Great Sydney, Monaro Alpine, Northern Slopes and Central Ranges NSW RFS fire districts.
Burn permits had already been suspended in many of the affected regions, including the lower Hunter region where firefighters had already been battling the blazes ‘day and night’ in recent weeks.
“Over the past two weeks – as we move towards the official start of the fire season – we and our partner organizations have been fighting fires day and night, with the support of aircraft,” the local RFS said.
‘Due to the current forecast temperatures and conditions for the coming week – coupled with the fire activity in the area over the past week – the decision has been made to suspend burn permits.’
The sweltering weather will begin to settle in the east from Friday as a mass of hot air from Western Australia works its way south where it will remain until at least Wednesday.
“The heat will really settle in parts of the south-east over the next few days,” Sky News meteorologist Bradlyn Oakes said.
‘Some of this is helped by the pattern of the upper atmosphere; There’s a lot of hot air coming in and you can see it out there.
“That extends from the northwest to the southeast, which will keep it very warm in the coming days.”
Rugby league fans are being warned this year’s NRL grand final could be the hottest ever, following an earlier heatwave in September.
Sydneysiders are pictured cooling off at Bronte Beach, while Australia’s eastern states are expected to swelter throughout the holiday weekend with temperatures expected to reach 36 degrees Celsius
If a weather station in Greater Sydney exceeds 37.3 degrees Celsius in the first three days of October, it will be the highest early spring temperature ever recorded
The Broncos-Panthers demolition is booked for 7.30pm at Accor Stadium, with temperatures hovering around 30 degrees Celsius for the 7.30pm kick-off.
NRL head of football Graham Annesley said the competition was “ready for any conditions” as organizers dealt with Sunday’s brutal heat.
If a weather station in Greater Sydney exceeds 37.3 degrees Celsius in the first three days of October, it will be the highest early spring temperature on record.
The Bureau of Meteorology predicts temperatures in the city will reach a maximum of 36 degrees Celsius on Sunday, an increase of 8 degrees on the day before.
While conditions are expected to ease on Monday, the mercury is expected to rise again next week with highs of 37C on Tuesday.
Although the grand final will be scorching hot, Ms Oakes says Tuesday’s temperatures are really worrying.
“There are a lot of areas in NSW, but also in the ACT and Victoria, where the temperature is probably 8, 10, 12, 14 degrees above average,” she said.
After a steamy Grand Final day on Saturday, Melbourne will enjoy cooler temperatures on Sunday, with a high of 21 degrees Celsius, before the heat hits for the final time on Monday. Temperatures will drop over the course of the week while up to 15mm of rain will fall.
Temperatures in the country’s capital are forecast to reach as high as 31ºC on Tuesday, compared to 19ºC on the same day last year.
Brisbane is also expected to reach 27 degrees Celsius this weekend, while Hobart will reach 23 degrees Celsius on Saturday – 10 degrees above the same day last year.
NRL head of football Graham Annesley said the competition was ‘ready for any conditions’ as organizers tackled Sunday’s brutal heat
The Northern Territory is also experiencing heat and fire danger warnings.
The agency issued fire warnings for the Darwin and Adelaide River districts, Gregory South East and Barkly North on Thursday.
“Warm and dry with moderate to fresh and gusty winds from the northeast to southeast in most parts of the territory,” the agency said.
“Wind combined with high fuel loads will result in increased fire danger in the Barkly North, Darwin and Adelaide River and Gregory South East fire district.”
Catastrophic fire danger is forecast for Barkly North, while extreme fire danger is forecast for the Darwin and Adelaide Rivers and Gregory South East.
NT Fire and Rescue Service has advised residents to implement their bushfire survival plans immediately.
The temperature is expected to hover around 34 degrees Celsius and 35 degrees Celsius until Monday.
The national collapse
Other parts of the country will also experience steadily warming temperatures.
The agency predicts Adelaide will reach a high of 31 degrees Celsius on Monday, while Brisbane will experience temperatures of around 20 degrees during the week.
Perth will enjoy a cooler weekend, with highs expected to reach 21 degrees Celsius on Sunday, before dropping to a top of 18 degrees Celsius on Sunday.