Insurers and brokers are on standby as eastern Australia faces an increased bushfire threat over the coming days with severe to extreme heatwave conditions set to grip parts of the country.
Temperatures are expected to rise well above average in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales with hot conditions moving from inland Queensland later in the week.
In New South Wales a brief respite will be offered on Thursday but heat will continue to build up over the weekend, the Bureau of Meteorology said.
Five areas of New South Wales were placed under total fire ban yesterday as the risk of both bush fires and grass fires continues to rise.
A total fire ban is currently in place in Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter as well as the Central Ranges, the Southern Slopes and North Western regions.
“We’re urging the public to stay tuned for the latest forecasts and warnings from the Bureau, and follow the advice of local emergency services,” the BoM said in a statement.
The New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) has warned against the threat of grass fires after a wet and warm 2016.
With heatwave temperatures now hitting parts of the state, Shane Fitzsimmons, commissioner of the NSW RFS, warned that recent fires should hammer home the danger they bring.
“Recent fires near Cootamundra, Urana and West Wyalong burned thousands of hectares and we saw devastating loss following the Paynes Road fire near North Yalgogrin. Over 5,500 hectares burned with an estimated $650,000 in crop losses, 300 sheep killed and destruction of fencing,” Fitzsimmons said.
RFS inspector Ben Shepherd told the ABC
that some areas of the state are getting “unbelievable temperatures” and with the BoM forecasting strong winds for parts of the state, the bushfire threat remains high.
“What we don’t need now is any fire activity,” Shepard said.
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