Firefighters are still battling to contain the bushfires raging across New South Wales and Queensland before “catastrophic” weather conditions hit tomorrow.
There are 64 fires burning in New South Wales, 40 of which are still uncontained. Premier Gladys Berejiklian declared a state of emergency today, giving emergency powers to Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons and prohibiting fires across the state.
Approximately 970,000 hectares have burned or are currently burning in NSW, and 200 homes and sheds have been destroyed. Three fire victims have died. In better news, all five people who were previously missing have been located.
High temperatures, strong winds and dry air are expected to combine tomorrow to create one of the most dangerous bushfire days in Australian history. Areas such as the Hunter, the Illawarra and greater Sydney are all under “catastrophic” fire danger warnings – the first time Sydney has ever faced that kind of threat since the new rating system was implemented 10 years ago.
Meanwhile almost 50 fires are burning in Queensland, though firefighters are particularly focused on three which could threaten lives and homes when conditions worsen. Those are the Cobraball, Cooroibah and Thornton fires.