Published: Fri, August 17, 2018
IT&Software | By Alfonso Woods

NSW bushfires: very high fire danger as damaging winds forecast

NSW bushfires: very high fire danger as damaging winds forecast

Those fires included three major out-of-control bushfires on the south coast - at North Nowra, Ulladulla, and Bemboka (near Bega). Although the Clarence Valley fire at Bristol Arms Road is burning close to some properties, they are not now under threat.

As the boys were allegedly building their bonfire, an out-of-control blaze was threatening properties at nearby Bilpin - one of more than 80 fires being battled across the state.

At Ulladulla, where residents evacuated when the Mount Kingiman blaze proved unsafe earlier in the week, light breezes on Friday are expected to give way to 50km/h winds on Saturday.

A warning has also been re-issued for residents near Bemboka on the NSW south coast, with a watch and act alert is in place for a blaze which has burnt through more than 3000 hectares.

Under these conditions, fires can be hard to control.

NSW Emergency Services Minister Troy Grant said the fires are a wake-up call for residents in fire-prone areas.

Most of the large firefighting aircraft don't typically arrive in Australia until after September, and demand for their services is likely to remain high in Europe and North America amid record summer heat in many regions.

A resident hoses down a shed destroyed by the fire at Bomaderry.

In the north, winds of up to 65km/h and temperatures in the mid to high 20s are making conditions similar to what firefighters faced in the south of the state on Wednesday.

"We're definitely not out of the woods yet but we're getting there", he said. It's worrying, it's mind-bending, ' environmental change academic David Bowman said on Wednesday. "It's worrying, it's mind-bending".

"I'm looking out my window and half of the sky is blue and then there's a definite line in the sky and to the left it's very orange, the sun is very filtered, there's choppers in the sky, there's quite thick smoke and it's very windy", she said.

"Cash-strapped local governments not mitigating risk can create a real problem", he said.

"It's right on them (properties) now", NSW RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said.

Mr Fitzsimmons said the drought was having an enormous impact.

"We should see winds easing in the evening but we've still got a few hours to go yet".

"It will take a lot of rainfall to make up for that moisture deficit", he said, adding that without a decent spring rainfall we would be "entering uncharted territory".

Curran said the ground near Milton was "dry as, it's crunchy underfoot". "It's three months since the end of the last fire season and now we're back into it again".

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