NY Today News
NY Today News: Your Daily Dose of Local and Global Headlines

‘Worst risk since black summer’: schools closed as early heatwave hits south-east Australia

Soaring temperatures across parts of south-east Australia have resulted in high and extreme fire danger and the closure of more than 20 schools in New South Wales.

Total fire bans were declared for the NSW south coast and greater Sydney region on Tuesday with temperatures forecast to reach 34C in the city.

At 9am there were 61 fires burning across the state with 13 yet to be contained.

Angus Hines from the Bureau of Meteorology said Wednesday could be even hotter with parts of South Australia and Queensland also feeling the heat.

“Most of Australia is sitting at moderate or high fire [danger] for the next few days,” he said.

“The south coast of NSW has a small area of extreme fire danger there, overlapping with the heatwave conditions on Tuesday.”

It’s the first total fire ban for greater Sydney since late November 2020, NSW Rural Fire Service spokesman Ben Shepherd said.

“It looks like a couple of hot and dry and windy days on the way,” he said.

Heatwave warnings are in place for Sydney, parts of the Hunter and the south coast.

More than 3000 school students were told to remain at home after the NSW Education Department listed 21 schools that will be closed on the south coast on Tuesday..

“Schools with elevated bushfire risk will be temporarily closed … due to extreme fire danger ratings being declared,” the department said in a statement.

People needed to be prepared on Tuesday, the NSW RFS commissioner, Rob Rogers, said. “It’s the worst risk we’ve faced since the black summer fires of 2019,” he said.

The heat was expected to shift north later in the week into parts of Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, with maximums of 40C forecast.

A severe wind warning was in place for Tuesday in the NSW Snowy Mountains and south-west slopes regions, with winds expected to become more damaging and widespread across the state on Wednesday ahead of a cold front.

Hines said the winds had emergency services on alert.

“On Wednesday, we’re going to see some warm windy weather around Sydney and the Hunter, with extreme fire danger forecast in those regions.”

By Thursday, the high to extreme fire dangers would be more widespread, including a large part of the channel country in Queensland, the bureau said.

Fire crews were busy in the NSW Hunter and south-eastern parts of Queensland with a fire burning at Beerwah on the Sunshine Coast shifting between advice and watch-and-act alerts.

News Source