Votes
[Rating: 0]
Queensland and NSW bushfires

Fires have already burned through Putty Road in the area earlier this week. Courtesy: 9 News

BUSHFIRE CRISIS

Three more charged over deliberate blazes
Severe fire danger returns today
Man found dead in shed near Kempsey, NSW, bringing death toll to four
Juvenile charged over destructive blaze near Yeppoon
More than 300 homes destroyed or damaged in NSW and more than a million hectares consumed
A total of 1500 firefighters, 70 aircraft and 500 vehicles at firefronts across NSW
Two emergency warnings for NSW

New NSW fire emergency warning

A second emergency warning has been issued in northern NSW this afternoon.

The RFS is warning a fire in Guyra Road, Ebor on the northern tablelands has reached emergency levels.

People in the village of Ebor, 80km east of Armidale should seek shelter.

The RFS said on Facebook: “The Gospers Mountain fire is burning in the Hawkesbury area and is spreading very quickly.

“Spot fires are starting ahead of the main fire. The Large Air Tanker is working in the area to protect properties.”

Weather warning for next week

Soaring temperatures in Western Australia are set to bring a fresh blast of heat to south and eastern states next week, escalating fire dangers.

The mass of hot air will sweep across Australia, creating a pressure cooker in the fire-ravaged states of NSW and Queensland and sending temperatures soaring in South Australia.

The weather pattern is forecast to send temperatures in Perth to at least 35 degrees by Saturday, and to stay there for four days.

If it does get that hot, it will break a record set in November 1933.

Further inland, Kalgoorlie is forecast to reach 44 C on Sunday, which would be a new November record.

This intense late-spring heat is being caused by a large mass of hot air that has built up over WA on the western side of a high pressure ridge.

The hot air mass will be pushed east from Tuesday as a cold front moves in from the Indian Ocean.

It means NSW and Queensland, which are still battling dangerous fire conditions, are likely to see a return to severe and very high fire danger ratings, forecasters say.

“Unfortunately, the hot air mass approaching from the west will cause temperatures to climb even further next week,” Ben Domensino from Weatherzone said.

“Large areas of inland NSW and southern Queensland should see temperatures reach the high thirties and low forties by the middle of next week.

“While sea breezes will interrupt next week’s heat near the coast, Sydney could exceed 30 degrees on Tuesday and Thursday, with temperatures likely to be even higher in western suburbs.

“The hot weather over eastern Australia today and next week will elevate fire danger ratings in both states.”

Meanwhile, Adelaide could reach the high 30s or low 40s on Wednesday as temperatures edge towards the city’s November record of 43C in 2009.

In Victoria and Tasmania, a spell of cool weather that brought hail and snow earlier this week is due to break.

While most days have failed to reach 20C in Melbourne this week, the city could reach the low thirties on Wednesday and Thursday.

However, the second half next week could bring showers and storms, though forecasters are unsure where.

Emergency warning for Gospers Mountain, Lithgow, NSW

An emergency warning has been issued for a fire burning in Lithgow, NSW.

The blaze at Gospers Mountain, in the Wollemi National Park northeast of Sydney, has escalated.

People in Colo Heights were being warned to leave now.

Those in St Albans, Upper MacDonald, Central MacDonald and Lower MacDonald, Glen Davis, Putty Valley, Upper Colo, Webbs Creek, should monitor conditions.

Smoke may be visible from The Hills, Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Gosford.

The emergency warning is the first of the day.

More Queenslanders told to flee fires

More residents have been told to leave their homes as Queensland braces for another day of dangerous fire conditions.

There are more than 60 blazes still burning across the state, with firefighters prepared for high temperatures and hot, dry westerly winds on Friday and into the weekend.

Leave now warnings in place for residents of Woodgate and nearby Kinkuna Waters, south of Bundaberg.

A third leave now warning has been issued for Thornside, west of Gympie.

The Cobraball fire near Yeppoon in central Queensland continues to worry authorities given the difficult weather conditions expected in coming days.

The blaze, which destroyed 15 of the 16 homes lost in Queensland over the past week, is 90 per cent contained but that could change when high winds arrive.

Damage assessments are continuing with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services saying the number of homes lost could rise.

But QFES assistant commissioner Tony Johnstone says crews have done a remarkable job protecting property.

“It’s really hard to say how many houses we’ve saved but I’d say in excess of 300 or 400,” he told ABC radio.

Temperatures near major fire grounds are expected to soar beyond 30C on Friday and into the weekend.

Almost the entire state is facing high or very high fire danger on Friday and there’s a chance of severe thunderstorms in the southeast that will produce little rain.

The drought-stricken Darling Downs and Granite Belt region, west of Brisbane, is facing severe fire danger for at least the next three days.

Former QFES commissioner Lee Johnson is among 23 fire and emergency services leaders demanding urgent federal action to phase out fossil fuels that are driving climate change and elevating Australia’s bushfire risks.

He says cyclones and floods – not fires – have always been Queensland’s primary threats, but that’s changing.

“In my 40 years’ experience I don’t recall ever losing this amount of property at the start of a fire season, and it’s not over yet. Something has changed and it’s not good,” he told ABC radio on Friday.

Noosa mayor Tony Wellington says his constituents are angry and frustrated that a lack of action on climate change has left them facing unprecedented fire threats.

He says councils need extra funding for dedicated disaster management staff.

“At the moment our local disaster controller is simply one of our key staff – one of our executive directors,” he told the ABC.

“For the last two weeks in particular, but also over the last two months, they haven’t been able to carry on with their regular duties because they’re dealing with fire issues.”

Crews boosted by messages

Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, says fighting fires crews are extremely “tired and fatigued” but are being boosted by the thanks they’re receiving from locals.

“Sadly, some of them still feel like they’re not doing enough when they see so much loss and devastation,” he said.

“I was watching up with firefighters and teams in the last week or so and there’s nothing that boosts morale more than the little signs of affection or acknowledgement from members of the community.

“Whether it’s cards or tokens from kids at school, or I was talking to some volunteers who were at the petrol station filling up with fuel, and people just came up and shook their hands and said, ‘thank you very much, keep going.’

“They’re the things that matter.”

‘Circumstances could change very quickly’ in NSW, boss warns

NSW faces a severe fire threat today, with RFS bosses warning hot and windy weather cause the 60 fires burning in the state – half of which are uncontained – could quickly worsen.

Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, said: “We have all those fires burning, but we still have five burning at the Watch and Act alert level and that’s because they’re very active, still very susceptible to the weather changes and the weather influences.

“This afternoon we expect those winds particularly to strengthen and strengthen up to 60 to 75km/h as it comes down over the mountain range.

“What we have seen over the last week is that you can get into that sense where the fires are not at emergency level anymore, they are at Watch and Act but then the change of wind just changes everything in a moment.

“So the circumstances can change very quickly which is why we need people to remain vigilant and be ready to act in accordance to their plan or through.”

Kinkuna, Queensland no-go area

Residents remain locked out of the Queensland town of Kinkuna due to fires near Bundaberg.

Authorities declared an exclusion zone around the town, meaning locals who are already there can remain but no one can enter.

The town is near Woodgate, where residents have been allowed to return two days after a fire swept through.

They were given a police escort out.

All homes were saved.

However, firefighters have warned a change of wind could escalate fires again.

Current NSW and Queensland fires in numbers

QUEENSLAND

3,600 firefighters on the frontline 100 international personnel assisting 61 bushfires currently burning

2 fires currently at Watch and Act status

107 vehicles currently on scene 455 damage assessments completed

3 fire agencies involved – Rural Fire Service, State Emergency Service, Fire and Rescue Service

NSW

1,300 firefighters worked overnight last night

259 homes destroyed

2,100 home saved

3,000+ buildings inspected

59 fires currently burning

5 fires currently at Watch and Act status

Residents of Queensland towns urged to evacuate

More residents have been told to leave their homes as Queensland braces for another day of dangerous fire conditions.

There are more than 60 blazes still burning across the state, with firefighters braced for high temperatures and hot, dry westerly winds today and into the weekend.

Leave now warnings in place for residents of Woodgate and nearby Kinkuna Waters, south of Bundaberg. A third leave now warning has been issued for Thornside, west of Gympie.

The Cobraball fire near Yeppoon in central Queensland continues to worry authorities given the difficult weather conditions expected in coming days.

The blaze, which destroyed 15 of the 16 homes lost in Queensland over the past week, is 90 per cent contained but that could change when high winds arrive.

Damage assessments are continuing with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services saying the number of homes lost could rise.

But QFES assistant commissioner Tony Johnstone says crews have done a remarkable job protecting property.

Temperatures on fire grounds are expected to soar beyond 30C today and into the weekend.

Three more held for allegedly lighting fires

Three more people have been arrested after allegedly starting fires amid the country’s bushfire crisis.

Two teenage boys are accused of lighting a fire with paper, dry leaves, vegetation and a cigarette lighter on the NSW Far North Coast.

The boys, 13 and 14, were allegedly spotted standing near the fire in scrubland on Casuarina Way in Kingscliff on Monday. The teens allegedly fled but were later arrested. They have been dealt with under the Youth Offenders Act.

In a separate incident, a 34-year-old man has been charged after allegedly setting off a firework which started a fire in a Sydney park last night.

Police were called to Sydney Park in St Peters last night after a fire broke out in bushland. Members of the public extinguished the fire and prevented a man from leaving the scene.

Police spoke with the 34-year-old man before searching his vehicle and seizing multiple cigarette lighters, and a variety of sparklers and fireworks.

Police will allege in court that the man ignited the firework with the intention of causing a fire.

The man will appear in court today.Ten people and a child had already been charged by police over breaches of the fire ban.

Hundreds of NSW homes destroyed by fire

Fires have destroyed 259 homes across NSW since last Friday, authorities say.

Crews have surveyed over 3000 buildings and confirmed 259 homes have been destroyed and 87 damaged in the latest building impact assessment.

It shows 18 facilities have been destroyed and 28 damaged.

There have been 480 outbuildings destroyed, 155 damaged.

That’s a total of 2141 buildings in the fire areas that have been saved.

Building impact assessments will continue over coming days and that number may change.

There are eight NSW areas under total fire ban today including greater Sydney area, Illawarra and the Shoalhaven, Far North Coast, North Coast, Greater Hunter, Central Ranges, New England and Northern Slopes area.

There is a severe fire danger for most of the east coast today.

The latest forecast shows Low humidity, wind guts of 57kms/h and temperatures in the high 30s.

Dutton defends firefighting resources

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has defended the level of resources for fire ighting after former emergency chiefs said they had urged the federal government to deploy more water-bombing aircraft.

Mr Dutton spoke to Today after former NSW Fire and Rescue chief Greg Mullins said Australia had seven aerial fire tankers available while California deployed 30 of the planes for one fire.

“There is a national plan where if there is not a fire threat in Tasmania obviously we are deploying assets from Tasmania to the hotspots. That’s the way in which the plan has been designed over recent years. I think it makes sense,” Mr Dutton said.

The resources that we are providing both at a state and federal level is unprecedented and we need to support these volunteers.”

Mr Dutton said any review of resources for future bushfires needed to be done after the current emergency.

Labor frontbencher and deputy leader Richard Marles told Today the threat of bushfires around the nation was getting worse.

“We need to listen to our fire chiefs around the nation. Making sure that that plan is fit for purpose. But also that there are the resources there.”

He said the immediate focus should be on tackling the current emergency.

“Right now is about focusing on the crisis at hand.”

Black Snake, QLD residents warned ‘prepare to leave’

Queensland authorities are warning residents of Black Snake in the Gympie region to prepare for evacuation as a bushfire nears the town.

The large, slow-moving fire was burning near the Des Simpson Memorial and a wind change sent the fire tracking in a northwesterly direction.

Mayors of fire-hit regions in climate change appeal

Mayors from Australia’s bushfire-ravaged regions are begging the federal government to put people ahead of profit and acknowledge the role of climate change in the disaster.

Mayors from 12 councils, including the fire-affected Bellingen, Mid-Coast and Noosa regions, have signed a statement urging the government to stop ignoring climate change and boost funding to frontline services.

“The fires this week in Australia have placed hundreds of thousands of people in great danger,” today’s statement begins.

“The catastrophic conditions for these fires were, at least in part, fuelled by climate change.”

The mayors point out that Queensland experienced catastrophic fire conditions for the first time last year and Sydney did so for the first time this week.

Fire seasons are starting earlier and lasting longer, they say.

The plea comes a day after former Australian fire chiefs urged the federal government to declare a climate emergency.

Queensland winds could whip fires up in heatwave

Queensland firefighters are also facing another day of severe fire conditions as the dry westerly winds bring heatwave conditions to the state.

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned conditions will continue to deteriorate as extremely hot air is pushed across the state on Friday and into the weekend.

“The story is one of very high fire dangers or severe fire danger ratings for the next three days,” BOM forecaster Richard Wardell told AAP.

Severe isolated storms cells have also been forecast to potentially bring dry lightning which could ignite more bushfires. Coastal areas can also expect a low-intensity heatwave.

More than 70 fires are burning across the state, with alerts in place for Black Snake, in the Gympie region, and the coastal towns of Woodgate and Buxton, south of Bundaberg, on Thursday afternoon.

There are also a number of fires between Brisbane and the NSW border, including in the Scenic Rim west of the Gold Coast.

Severe fire front risk for five NSW regions

Fire danger in some parts of NSW has risen to severe as hot, dry, windy conditions put an end to a brief reprieve for bushfire-hit areas of the state.

Raging fires over the past week have claimed four lives and destroyed more than 300 homes.

While conditions eased following a “catastrophic” danger rating earlier in the week, the forecast of hot, dry weather once again poses a threat today.

A severe fire danger rating is in place for the far north coast, north coast, Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney Region and Illawarra-Shoalhaven and large parts of the state are under total fire bans.

“Even though the situation has improved in many areas over the past couple of days, it’s still volatile and important to continue to closely monitor,” the Bureau of Meteorology NSW tweeted.

The fire at Bora Ridge burning southeast of Casino flared up to emergency level yesterday, before being reduced back to ‘Watch and Act’ – which eight other blazes currently remain at.

More than 1600 firefighters were battling some 60 bushfires last night, more than half of which were uncontained, the Rural Fire Service said.

Firefighters ‘in for the long haul’ ahead of dangerous Friday

Residents in fire-ravaged areas of NSW are preparing for dangers to ramp up again from the blazes which have killed four people and destroyed more than 300 homes.

A forecast of more warm, dry and windy weather has raised tomorrow’s danger rating to severe from the far north coast down to the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region.

Firefighters are “in for the long haul”, Rural Fire Service NSW Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said today.

A severe fire danger rating is in place for the far north coast, north coast, Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney Region and Illawarra-Shoalhaven and large parts of the state will come under total fire bans.

Mr Rogers said despite the easing of conditions today there remained a lot of “aggressive” fire behaviour because the land is so dry.

“Conditions starting to warm up tomorrow, into the weekend and then heating up early next week, a return to more gusty conditions. We’re in for the long haul,” he said earlier.

Source: https://www.9news.com.au/national/nsw-fires-qld-emergency-warnings-updates-bushfire-map-alerts/27c02046-4425-4e4e-8307-6d8c6c69781e