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Residents told it’s ‘too late’ to escape bushfire



RESIDENTS close to a bushfire blazing out of control near Singleton have been told it’s “too late to leave” and to take shelter in their homes.

A red alert emergency warning has been signalled for the bushfire, which has burnt nearly 2500 hectares of bushland in the Wollemi National Park.

It is currently closing in on houses in the Putty State Forest area.

Homeowners along Bakers Rd and Putty Rd — which runs between the Wollemi National Park and Yengo National Park — have been told by via emergency alert voice messages to shelter in their homes as the out-of-control fire from an easterly direction under strong westerly winds.

The fire has been burning since late January but increased in intensity as weather conditions picked up today.

Firefighters are battle to cut the fire off, with 17 firefighters on the scene being assisted by a water bombing aircraft.

A Rural Fire Service spokesman said firefighters are hoping to have the fire back under control shortly but are facing adversity due to the “remote, difficult terrain.”

Locals are advised check the RFS website for more updates.

Across NSW, at least 50 bush and grass fires were blazing, fanned by today’s hot, dry and windy conditions, with 28 still to be contained.

The RFS has placed five areas under total fire bans, as conditions are predicted to continue.



The Illawarra and Shoalhaven region, Northern Slops and North Western areas have all been placed under severe fire warnings. The central and southern ranges have been placed under “very high” fire warnings.

A bushfire at Mount Canobolas in the Central Tablelands, which has burnt nearly 1700 hectares, was expected to be contained this afternoon.

A fire near the Golden Highway at Hollydeen, near Muswellbrook, caused the highway to close for a time but firefighters but was also under control this afternoon.

In the Jervis Bay area near Point Perpendicular a fire is spewing smoke across the area as it burns a previously unburnt pocket of bush.

Firefighters are urging residents not to call emergency services if they spot the smoke in the Point Perpendicular region, but to call if any unmanned fires are burning.

This morning

Early this morning, the NSW Rural Fire Service issued a total fire ban and are warning the “severe fire weather” should be taken seriously.

Several small bushfires have sparked across the state as authorities declare a total fire ban across NSW.

Emergency crews are battling fires in Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and north of Byron Bay. At this stage all fires are under control.

There are also multiple small fires down south in the Shoalhaven area.

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said a total fire ban has been declared for most of the state including greater Sydney, the Hunter, Central Ranges and Illawarra/Shoalhaven region

“Already this summer we have seen record-breaking temperatures in many areas,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

“This week we will see strong south westerly to westerly winds develop and coupled with the heat we’ve already experienced, the landscape is very susceptible to fire.

“That’s why it’s so important that landholders, homeowners, businesses and travellers seriously consider how they could be impacted and start planning now.

“Have a discussion about what you will do if a fire starts near you, so everyone in your household knows your bush fire survival plan.

“With many parents back at work and kids at school, people need to consider what to do if fire threatens when the family is separated.”

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Jordan Notara said there will be a sudden southerly change late today, but might exacerbate any fires that are burning.

“We have an approaching frontal system coming through the state and ahead of that we have hot, dry and windy conditions. Combined together, they will bring the elevated fire danger,” Mr Notara said.

“Broadly through the eastern part of the state we will have temperatures in the mid to low 30s, and could reach into the 40s around the Penrith area.

“We will see a sudden southerly wind change coming through on Wednesday evening. Winds that exceed around 50-60km/h.”

Recent research released by the RFS and Bushfire & Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre revealed many people under-appreciate the risk to life and property from fires in these types of conditions.

“People in bush fire prone areas need to understand that under these conditions, fires can start easily and spread quickly, impacting on homes, properties and valuable assets,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said



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