A severe fire warning has been issued for parts of Australia’s east coast, as a brutal heatwave threatens to create even more havoc for flood-ravaged parts of Queensland.
NSW is waking up to a total fire ban as hot and windy weather puts the state’s fire brigades on edge.
The statewide ban, which began at midnight, comes as temperatures across NSW are expected to range from the mid-30s to low-40s with the hot weather accompanied by high winds.
Sydneysiders are set to endure a high of 37 with late winds potentially creating a dust storm during the afternoon, while western Sydney and the Central Coast face similar forecasts.
The Hunter Valley and surrounds will face extreme fire danger while the rest of NSW is set to experience severe to high fire danger.
The Rural Fire Service (RFS) warns that under extreme conditions homes that are specially designed and constructed to withstand a bushfire, prepared to the highest level and actively defended may provide safety.
Residents have been told to follow their bushfire survival plan.
“Leaving early in the day is your safest option,” the RFS said in a statement on Monday.
#Fire Weather #Warning #NSW Tues.
EXTREME: Greater Hunter
SEVERE: Nth Coast, Greater Sydney, Illawarra/ Shoalhaven, Far Sth Coast, Monaro Alpine, Sthn & Central Ranges, New England, Nthn Slopes, Nth Westn, Upper & Lower Central West Plains, Sthn Slopes, Eastn Riverina & Far West pic.twitter.com/uZvQjHUFT6
— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) February 11, 2019
A statewide Total Fire Ban has been declared for tomorrow, Tuesday 12 Feb 2019, due to hot, dry and very windy conditions across NSW. There are difficult and dangerous fire conditions tomorrow so ask yourself: When will you leave, what will you take and where will you go? #NSWRFS pic.twitter.com/vKdmCBa1cV
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) February 11, 2019
The sudden spike comes just days after an intense thunderstorm left thousands of Sydney residents without power.
Friday’s storms left more than 40,000 properties without electricity and nine people needing to be rescued as flash flooding in parts of western Sydney turned intersections to lakes.
In total, around 1100 calls were made to the SES.
Brisbane and Adelaide are both in for a sunny day with highs 33 and 25 respectively.
Clear skies are forecasted for Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra, with the mercury set to hit the mid 20s in all three cities.
Those in Tasmania hoping for a similar forecast will be disappointed, with Tuesday set to see a high of 20C before a brutal low of just 8C on Wednesday.
Darwin locals will receive a small reprieve from the rain with a high of 33 before thunderstorms return to close out the week.
From bad to worse for flood-ravaged Townsville
It’s a different story for those in the flood-ravaged town of Townsville, who are still assessing the damage caused by once in a century flooding.
As of Monday, insurers had received 13,900 claims from Townsville, with losses estimated at $170 million.
Making matters worse, heatwave conditions are now building in the area, with temperatures set to hit 35 on Tuesday and stay around that mark for much of the week.
Exhausted graziers who have been left with a grisly clean-up after receding floodwaters left behind hundreds of thousands of rotting cattle carcasses will now also have to contend with the brutal heat.
After the rain came the heat ☀️ #Heatwave conditions are building in Queensland this week including flood affected areas around #Townsville. Hot and humid conditions will make the recovery effort more physically challenging. Stay hydrated and seek shade: https://t.co/KkBimxS1mS pic.twitter.com/p5dgR2pVlH
— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) February 10, 2019
On Eddington Station, near Julia Creek, where about 2000 cattle died, Rachael Anderson says the loss of so many animals will affect the station’s ability to survive.
“We (won’t be able to) get loans because we’ve got nothing to borrow against, none of us have got anything left,” she said.
“I can provide for my family right now. But in six months time or when the bank comes for their repayment, I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
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