‘Catastrophic’ conditions to flare up fires across NSW

Fires across New South Wales are expected to flare-up and spread quickly today, as parts of the state endure ‘catastrophic’ fire conditions.

A state of emergency has been declared in New South Wales for the next seven days, with extreme heat and wild winds predicted to wreak havoc.

The Greater Sydney Region, the Illawarra/Shoalhaven Region and the Hunter Region have all been declared ‘catastrophic’.


Strong wings are expected throughout the day, with northerlies predicted for the morning up to 25 km/h, before tending west to northwesterly 30 to 40 km/h in the late morning and afternoon.

Later on, a gusty southerly change is expected, with winds clocking 40 to 55 km/h in the early evening.

Meantime, temperatures could reach 37 degrees today.

As of this morning, there were over 50 blazes burning across the state – half of them considered ‘out of control’ –  and while none of them escalated to ’emergency’ status yesterday, the New South Wales Rural Fire Service says today’s conditions will likely see them spread ‘considerably’.

Here’s how they’re predicted to travel:

Over 3,000 firefighters are on the ground across the state today, while the defence force remains on standby.

The New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian is pleading with people to keep informed and listen to the advice given.

“Please do not ignore the messages you receive about your community.

“If you’re told to evacuate please do that, and for heaven’s sake, stay away from bush land,” Premier Berejiklian said.

A lot of schools are closed for the day, check if your school has been closed and keep up to date here.

Parks, playgrounds and open spaces have also been closed as part of the safety measures in place.

Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons says there’s very little fire fighters can do to suppress flames in these conditions.

“In catastrophic circumstances, routinely you can expect the most extraordinary of fire behaviour.

“It is not without question, that spotting activity can be well and truly over 20 kilometres ahead of the main fire front.

“Homes that are specifically designed and built to withstand bush fires are not done so for catastrophic conditions,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

Everyone is being urged to follow updates from the NSW RFS either on social media or their website.