A total fire ban will be in force across all of NSW for Saturday and Sunday, starting at midnight tonight, Friday February 11, due to worsening weather conditions.
The latest forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology confirms fire weather conditions will continue to deteriorate across Saturday and Sunday.
NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said a broader area is now expected to experience Catastrophic fire danger conditions.
“The heatwave conditions will strengthen over the weekend, with many areas experiencing temperatures of around 45 degrees,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.
“This will be coupled with strong and gusty winds, and low humidity.
“We are likely to see broad areas under Severe and Extreme fire danger ratings.
“On Sunday, Catastrophic conditions will extend from the Central West, across the tablelands to the Hunter region and out to the coast.
“These conditions are dangerous, and any fire that starts will be extremely difficult to control.
“Do not be in bush fire prone areas during Catastrophic conditions.
“Discuss with your family and use the time now to decide what you’ll do. Do not leave decisions until the last minute.”
During a total fire ban, no fires may be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended. Gas and electric barbeques may be used provided certain conditions are met. Lighting a fire on a day of Total Fire Ban attracts an on the spot fine of $2200.
The penalty for tossing a lit cigarette doubles during a Total Fire Ban from $660 to $1320. You can report people who throw lit cigarettes from a vehicle by going to the RFS website or calling the Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.
Total Fire Ban rules and a map of current Total Fire Ban areas are at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.
Review your Bush Fire Survival Plan to know what you will do if a fire starts near you.Make sure everyone in your household knows what to do if a bush fire starts near you.
If your Bush Fire Survival Plan is to leave, then LEAVE EARLY.
For more information on what a Total Fire Ban means, check www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/toban.
Report any unattended fires to Triple Zero (000).