Sydney Bushfires warning for the greater metro area and surrounding regions.
“This is no ordinary day,” one RFS worker told Sydney media.
Thousands of firefighters, 60 helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, hundreds of fire fighting vehicles and thousands more support crew are readying for a terrible day in Sydney and NSW.
Firefighters are saying the conditions for the next day are “as bad as it gets” with warnings in place for most of NSW and all of Sydney.
“If fires start in any of these areas they have the capacity to escalate extremely quickly.”
Sydney Weather Forecast
The conditions tomorrow include hot temperatures, high winds gusting to 80km/hr and low humidity. Add that to the dry tinderbox of the bush around the region, impacted by years of drought and the perfect storm for bushfire disaster is here.
A cold front is moving across the south-west of Australia, bringing with it hot, dry and fast winds that will create an oven over NSW, hence the Sydney Bushfires warning.
According to source, a ‘catastrophic’ fire warning has been issued for the first time in Sydney’s history.
This extends south to the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Hunter regions to the north.
Evacuations & Emergency Information
People in small towns , on farms or other homes in and around bushland have been told to evacuate.
This is a precaution as fast moving, intense fires could start at any moment without warning.
A simple thing to do is avoid bush fire prone areas, the RFS says.
“Safer areas may be a large town or city, shopping centres or facilities far away from bushland areas.”
Areas on the fringes of Sydney are at high risk, with fires potentially impacting people in outer Suburbs or Sydney.
Smoke from fires in northern NSW is starting to settle in parts of the state including Sydney.
People are advised to only call 000 for fires, not smoke.
If you need more info on fire danger in your area, call the Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.
500 schools across NSW have been cancelled tomorrow. That means tens of thousands of students from Primary, High School, Colleges and TAFE around Sydney and northern NSW will stay home.
The following schools will temporarily cease operations on Tuesday 12 November due to increased fire risk in the area.
Latest Sydney bushfires warning information
Catastrophic fire danger is now forecast for the Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter and Illawarra Shoalhaven areas on Tuesday 12 November 2019, due to worsening weather conditions.
The fire danger is now expected to be worse than originally forecast. The Illawarra Shoalhaven has now been added as an area of Catastrophic fire danger.
Catastrophic is the highest level of bush fire danger. Homes are not designed to withstand a fire under these conditions.
If a fire starts and takes hold during Catastrophic fire danger conditions, lives and homes will be at risk.
Advice for people in areas of Catastrophic fire danger include:
- Avoid bush fire prone areas. A safer area may be a large town or city, shopping centres or facilities well away from bushland areas.
- Schools in identified high risk areas will be closed. Schools will notify affected students. Start making arrangements now.
- If you are unable to leave, identify a safe location which may be nearby. This may include a Neighbourhood Safer Place.
Large areas of the state are also forecast to experience Severe and Extreme fire danger. This includes in the north coast and northern NSW areas, where there is a large number of fires already burning. These fires will not be contained in time and will threaten lives and properties.
A statewide total fire ban has been declared for all areas of NSW for all of Monday and Tuesday.
Memories of the 1994 Sydney Bushfires
The conditions forecast for Sydney tomorrow bring back vivid memories of the historic 1994 bushfires.
The 1994 Eastern seaboard fires hit in a similar fashion to the current emergency.
These were severe bushfires between August 1993 and 16 January 1994 were widespread along the NSW and Queensland.
Also Over 80 separate fires encouraged by extreme hot dry and windy conditions threatened many areas including the major cities like Newscastle and Sydney.
The fires killed four people and burnt out over 800,000 hectares (2,000,000 acres). The fires across the state destroyed 225 homes in total — 101 of which were in the southern Sydney suburbs of Jannali, Como, Lance Cove, Ku-ring-gai-Chase National Park, Garigal National Park, the Royal National Park, Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury regions.
These fires generated a large amount of media coverage internationally and was a major emergency for the city threatened with total isolation due to fire. At the peak of the fires only the Hume Highway to the southwest remained open. All other road and rail routes out of Sydney were closed. Residents of the entire metropolitan area of Sydney had to contend with ash raining down on them, and the sky remained a blazing orange colour for days afterwards.
Flashback: 1994 Sydney Bushfires
Earlier Story – Sydney Fires forecast
Related: Sydney Smoke Haze
The Sydney News Authors