Total Fire Ban...And It's Still Winter!

19 August, 2018, 01:39 | Author: Leah Owens
  • An out-of-control fire burns near Ulladulla on the NSW south coast. Image NSW RFS

A blaze at Salt Ash in Port Stephens had earlier been fanned by northwesterly winds, but was downgraded from watch and act to advice early on Friday evening. Embers may be blown ahead of the fire, creating spot fires.

Crews from the Rural Fire Service spent Wednesday battling more than 80 fires across the state, with 50 uncontained.

People have been told to leave for central Ulladulla from the towns of Burrill Lake, Kings Point and south of Ulladulla if they are unprepared or have a bushfire plan to leave.

This week's unseasonal bushfires stretching the length of the NSW coast from the Queensland border to Victoria have also destroyed three homes and 22 outbuildings.

The NSW Rural Fire Service has completed the first stage of property assessments following the fire, which has burnt through more than 3,300 hectares and is still out of control.

The fire is now moving in an easterly direction.

Conditions are deteriorating with stronger than expected winds.

.

The main concern right now for the RFS is on the South Coast, where emergency warnings have been declared for out of control fires near Nowra and Ulladulla.

The fires destroyed two homes at Bemboka and damaged one home at Nowra, it's since been confirmed.

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Fire crews have been on high alert, after the entire state of New South Wales was last week declared as either "in drought" or "drought affected", bringing dry conditions.

"We're definitely not out of the woods yet but we're getting there", he said.

Firefighters are working to slow the bushfire's spread and establish containment lines, according to the RFS.

"In my time I don't recall quite as many fires and the length and breadth of the fires", he said.

"We are concerned about a return to these gusty conditions on Saturday", he said.

Sydney Helicopters said Mr Tull's death will be felt by all in the firefighting community and beyond.

"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".

"It is a really early start to these severe fires, and it's only really been three months since the last serious fire we had, which was in April".

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