Sydney braces for ‘catastrophic’ bushfire conditions
A catastrophic fire danger rating has been issued for Sydney and other parts of New South Wales today.
It’s the first time the rating has been issued for Greater Sydney since the current system was introduced 10 years ago.
Sydney woke to a smoke haze blanketing the city and calm conditions but the Rural Fire Service warned “that will change very rapidly”, and it has with windy conditions sweeping up from the south.
Firefighters say “any fire that starts and takes hold will threaten lives and homes”.
There are currently 91 fires burning across the state. At least 40 of those are uncontained, with 11 currently at an Emergency alert level.
More than 3000 firefighters are on the fireground, being supported by 60 aircraft today.
WHAT TO DO
Rural Fire Service:
Download the ‘Fires Near Me’ app: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/
Keep up-to-date with major fire updates: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/
Avoid bushfire-prone areas. The safest option is to get out now.
For more information about the fires, contact the Bush Fire Information Line – 1800 679 737
Roads and Transport:
For the latest information on road closures, check www.livetraffic.com, download the Live Traffic NSW app or call 132 701.
For the latest information on public transport, check www.transportnsw.info or call 131 500.
The Sydney to Brisbane train service will not be running for the next 48hrs.
Coaches will also not run for passenger services between Taree and Sydney.
For non-urgent assistance please call your local police.
Anyone who sees suspicious or illegal behaviour is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.
If you require emergency assistance please call 000.
More than 600 schools across the state are closed. An up-to-date list can be found here: https://education.nsw.gov.au/
Evacuation Centres are in place throughout fire-affected areas of the state. The most up-to-date information is available here: https://www.emergency.nsw.gov.
National Parks and Wildlife:
All national parks, including tracks, trails and campgrounds in Greater Sydney will be closed from Tuesday, November 12 until further notice.
Image: Getty/Ryan Pierse