Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bushfires starting early

I suppose it was inevitable after such a dry, warm winter and a record warm start to spring.

Today is 30C with very strong gusty north-westerly winds, so the fires have started and homes are under threat as I type.

The Castlereagh bushfire burning out of control near Nutt Road.

In Castlereagh, in the ABC photo above, the fire is headed towards a dozen homes. An emergency warning is in place and people, including a school, are being evacuated. Firefighters backed by aircraft are struggling to protect the properties, with the unpredictable gusty winds causing spot fires ahead of the main fire front.

An emergency warning is also in place in Windsor around Richmond Road, with the Rural Fire Service saying the blaze could impact properties. The RFS says residents should take shelter but in spite of community information that they should head to Penrith Whitewater Stadium, the RFS says they should not because there is fire in that area.

The fires are widespread and covering large areas too - a very high fire danger alert has been issued for the Illawarra, Sydney, the Central Ranges, the Hunter, the north west and the north coast. There are currently more than forty fires burning uncontained around the state..

There are currently seven other bushfires with Watch and Act status around Sydney, including the close-in suburb of Lane Cove, at Blacktown, the Hills District, the Blue Mountains and the Hunter. We have one nearby too, at Wyong here on the NSW Central Coast.

All are currently listed on the  RFS website as 'out of control'.

And we're only in early September.

Update: At 3pm two more of the fires have been upgraded to emergency warning, Winmalee in the Blue Mountains and Blacktown. There are unconfirmed reports of home losses in Castlereagh, where it's also said that outhouses and vehicles have been destroyed.

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