A NSW fire station has warned residents to be on the lookout for people posing as firefighters asking for donations after clothing was stolen from the building.
Wyong Fire Station, on the Central Coast, was broken into on Saturday night, staff said in a Facebook post on Sunday.
Yellow fire helmets, bush fire jackets and gloves, ID cards, goggles, shirts and trousers, and white flash hoods resembling balaclavas were stolen in the process, firefighters said.
“All of these items are clearly marked or branded with FRNSW logos and some of these will have firefighters names on them,” the post read.
Station staff warned they had received reports of a man wearing some of the stolen items walking around the Wyong area on Sunday morning, and warned residents not to fall for a potential donation scam.
“Please be mindful that FRNSW do not door knock or go around asking for monetary donations or discounts,” firefighters said.
The fire station’s post caused quite a stir online, with hundreds of commenters slamming the thief’s actions.
“What is wrong with these people?” one woman said.
“This is just the lowest act,” another person said.
“This is horrible, hard to believe that someone could be this low or do something like this. Hope they find the grub!” another wrote.
A man said he had seen a solo door knocker wandering down a street in Wyong dressed as a firefighter and holding a bucket.
Firefighters urged residents to report anyone acting suspiciously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
NSW bushfires continue to burn
Better weather on Sunday provided an opportunity for critical backburning and containment work ahead of Tuesday, when the mercury is tipped to soar into the 40s in parts of the state.
That work will continue on Monday as about 90 fires burn across NSW, half of which are not contained, and almost 2000 firefighters work in the field.
Authorities are keeping an eye on two big fires in the Singleton area - the Paddock Run and Little L Complex fires - and another Gospers Mountain on Sydney's northwestern outskirts merging with neighbouring fires.
Very high fire danger is forecast on Monday for several NSW regions including the northwestern region, northern slopes, greater Hunter, central ranges, southern ranges, Illawarra-Shoalhaven and the ACT.
Testing conditions forecast for firefighters on Tuesday
Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said Tuesday would likely bring high temperatures, low humidity and high winds, as well as several thunderstorms with the high risk of lightning strikes.
"There's going to be a very dry air again as well, humidity is going to be really low, there's going to be some winds," Mr Fitzsimmons told the Seven Network.
"Unfortunately tomorrow afternoon with the change, they're expecting lots of thunderstorm activity and the potential for lots of new lightning and fires."
He added the thunderstorms were unlikely to produce significant rainfall.
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned much of inland NSW will "swelter" through a heatwave early this week with hot 40-plus-degree days and very warm 20-plus-degree nights, ramping up fire risks.
Mr Fitzsimmons admitted his firefighting crews were beginning to feel the pinch amid an unprecedented NSW bushfire season in which more than 680 homes and six lives have been lost.
"They've been flogged now for months now, particularly up in the north ... and (with) the fire activity extending further south, we're literally rotating through thousands of people every day, every week," he said.
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