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Bushfires rage across NSW and Queensland as hazardous smoke blankets Sydney Bushfires rage across NSW and Queensland as hazardous smoke blankets Sydney
(about 2 hours later)
At least one home lost on NSW south coast as Queensland braces for extreme heat and severe fire dangerAt least one home lost on NSW south coast as Queensland braces for extreme heat and severe fire danger
At least one home and multiple buildings have been destroyed by an out-of-control bushfire near Batemans Bay on the New South Wales south coast, which prompted a new emergency warning on Tuesday afternoon.At least one home and multiple buildings have been destroyed by an out-of-control bushfire near Batemans Bay on the New South Wales south coast, which prompted a new emergency warning on Tuesday afternoon.
Sydney, meanwhile, is ringed by bushfires, causing heavy smoke to linger. An emergency warning has also been issued for a small fire near Cranebrook in western Sydney. Sydney, meanwhile, is ringed by bushfires, causing heavy smoke to linger. An emergency warning was issued for a small fire near Cranebrook in western Sydney on Tuesday afternoon but was downgraded to advice level.
An emergency warning was also issued for a fire burning at Pelaw Main near Cessnock.
A total of 116 bush and grass fires are burning across NSW with 56 uncontained and more than 2000 firefighters in the field being supported by aircraft.A total of 116 bush and grass fires are burning across NSW with 56 uncontained and more than 2000 firefighters in the field being supported by aircraft.
The Rural Fire Service said the Cranebrook fire was burning in an easterly direction.
“Properties in the area around Smeeton Road are at risk. Firefighters and aircraft are working to slow the fire and protect homes.”
Firefighters on the south coast have also been working to save homes with a fresh emergency warning issued on Tuesday afternoon for an out-of-control fire at Currowan burning between Batemans Bay and Ulladulla.Firefighters on the south coast have also been working to save homes with a fresh emergency warning issued on Tuesday afternoon for an out-of-control fire at Currowan burning between Batemans Bay and Ulladulla.
The 29,000-hectare bushfire is being pushed east and northeast towards the coastal communities of Termeil, Bawley Point and Pebbly Beach.The 29,000-hectare bushfire is being pushed east and northeast towards the coastal communities of Termeil, Bawley Point and Pebbly Beach.
The RFS warned residents in the Termeil and Flat Rock area that it was too late to leave.The RFS warned residents in the Termeil and Flat Rock area that it was too late to leave.
“Seek shelter as the fire approaches. Protect yourself from the heat of the fire,” the agency said in a statement.“Seek shelter as the fire approaches. Protect yourself from the heat of the fire,” the agency said in a statement.
RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons earlier on Tuesday confirmed properties west of Kioloa had been damaged and destroyed. Authorities are assessing the extent of the losses.RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons earlier on Tuesday confirmed properties west of Kioloa had been damaged and destroyed. Authorities are assessing the extent of the losses.
“We do have some early indications of property being lost or impacted to the west of the area of Kioloa, largely where the fire crossed the Clyde river there yesterday,” Fitzsimmons told the Seven Network.“We do have some early indications of property being lost or impacted to the west of the area of Kioloa, largely where the fire crossed the Clyde river there yesterday,” Fitzsimmons told the Seven Network.
“Unfortunately there’s still a lot of very active fire edge on this fire.“Unfortunately there’s still a lot of very active fire edge on this fire.
“Conditions could certainly change if we see the winds influence fire behaviour on that again.”“Conditions could certainly change if we see the winds influence fire behaviour on that again.”
The haze blanketing Sydney is being blown from large bushfires in the Blue Mountains, near Warragamba dam and in the Hawkesbury area.The haze blanketing Sydney is being blown from large bushfires in the Blue Mountains, near Warragamba dam and in the Hawkesbury area.
Air quality was “hazardous” in Sydney’s east and southwest on Tuesday afternoon but “good” in the city’s northwest.Air quality was “hazardous” in Sydney’s east and southwest on Tuesday afternoon but “good” in the city’s northwest.
There were four watch and act alerts current in NSW on Tuesday afternoon for fires at North Black Range east of Braidwood, Green Wattle Creek southwest of the Warragamba Dam wall, the Yengo National Park west of Cessnock and at Kurri Kurri in the Hunter region.There were four watch and act alerts current in NSW on Tuesday afternoon for fires at North Black Range east of Braidwood, Green Wattle Creek southwest of the Warragamba Dam wall, the Yengo National Park west of Cessnock and at Kurri Kurri in the Hunter region.
Fitzsimmons said a “temperature inversion” had trapped the smoke in the Sydney basin and the haze was unlikely to lift in the short term.Fitzsimmons said a “temperature inversion” had trapped the smoke in the Sydney basin and the haze was unlikely to lift in the short term.
“All those fires and some a little further afield are all impacting on the smoke inundation around the Sydney basin,” he said.“All those fires and some a little further afield are all impacting on the smoke inundation around the Sydney basin,” he said.
“There’s a general westerly pattern to a lot of these winds that’s going to continue to bring smoke right across the Sydney basin, and if we get another inversion effect like we saw this morning, some of that will get trapped.”“There’s a general westerly pattern to a lot of these winds that’s going to continue to bring smoke right across the Sydney basin, and if we get another inversion effect like we saw this morning, some of that will get trapped.”
On Monday NSW police expressed concerns about the number of people deliberately lighting fires amid increased risk.On Monday NSW police expressed concerns about the number of people deliberately lighting fires amid increased risk.
Lake Illawarra Insp Brian Pedersen said it was distressing to see people ignoring the warnings of emergency services. Police spoke to three 12-year-old boys after two fires were deliberately lit in the Lake Illawarra region at the weekend.Lake Illawarra Insp Brian Pedersen said it was distressing to see people ignoring the warnings of emergency services. Police spoke to three 12-year-old boys after two fires were deliberately lit in the Lake Illawarra region at the weekend.
“We are urging the whole community to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour,” Pedersen said.“We are urging the whole community to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour,” Pedersen said.
Two million hectares of NSW land have burned since July in more than 7,000 fires, with authorities calling it the “most challenging bushfire season ever”.Two million hectares of NSW land have burned since July in more than 7,000 fires, with authorities calling it the “most challenging bushfire season ever”.
Six people have died and 673 homes have been destroyed.Six people have died and 673 homes have been destroyed.
NSW Health said children, older adults and people with heart and lung conditions were the most susceptible to smoke and air pollution.NSW Health said children, older adults and people with heart and lung conditions were the most susceptible to smoke and air pollution.
“If you have asthma or a lung condition, reduce outdoor activities if smoke levels are high and if shortness of breath or coughing develops, take your reliever medicine or seek medical advice,” it said.“If you have asthma or a lung condition, reduce outdoor activities if smoke levels are high and if shortness of breath or coughing develops, take your reliever medicine or seek medical advice,” it said.
A strong wind warning was in place for the Hunter, Illawarra and far south coast, and smoke haze was forecast for much of the state, in particular the Sydney, Hunter, mid north coast and northern rivers regions.A strong wind warning was in place for the Hunter, Illawarra and far south coast, and smoke haze was forecast for much of the state, in particular the Sydney, Hunter, mid north coast and northern rivers regions.
Heavy smoke haze was also affecting the Bruce Highway at Colosseum in Queensland.Heavy smoke haze was also affecting the Bruce Highway at Colosseum in Queensland.
The fire danger rating was classed as severe in parts of southern Queensland, with dry and windy conditions making conditions hazardous for firefighters.The fire danger rating was classed as severe in parts of southern Queensland, with dry and windy conditions making conditions hazardous for firefighters.
Temperatures were expected to reach 40C in areas such as the Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim by the end of the week.Temperatures were expected to reach 40C in areas such as the Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim by the end of the week.
The Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast could experience temperatures of 35C, while in Brisbane it could reach 37C on Friday.The Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast could experience temperatures of 35C, while in Brisbane it could reach 37C on Friday.
Australian Associated Press contributed to this reportAustralian Associated Press contributed to this report