NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced a State of Emergency as fires continue to burn across our state.
Parts of Sydney, including Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, Illawarra/Shoalhaven areas, are facing Catastrophic fire dangers today, with people being told to prepare for the worst. But what does this actually mean?
CATASTROPHIC FIRE DANGER TODAY – Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, Illawarra/Shoalhaven. These are very dangerous conditions and if you are caught in the path of a fire, your life will be at risk. Avoid bushland areas. Stay alert. Stay informed. Stay safe. #nswrfs #nswfires pic.twitter.com/ZTq6sgDLZs
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) November 11, 2019
This is the first time that this level of warning has been used for Sydney, with the Rural Fire Service warning that this is as bad as it gets.
According to NSW Police, we are currently facing an unprecedented level of bush fire danger, with Catastrophic being the highest level of bush fire danger. Our homes are not designed to withstand these types of fire conditions.
NSW Police have also said that “any fire that starts and takes hold will threaten lives and homes”.
Other parts of the state, some where fires are already burning, are also facing Severe and Extreme fire danger.
There is a Total Fire Ban in place. You can keep up to date on fires with the ‘Fires Near Me’ app.
#Fire Danger Ratings map for #NSW for today (Tues). @NSWRFS now has 3 areas listed as #Catastrophic. Important to note that while Greater #Sydney is listed as one, that area extends well beyond the city. In this case Greater Sydney stretches to the #BlueMountains & #CentralCoast pic.twitter.com/3jfCAfrAje
— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) November 11, 2019
What should you do if you are threatened by fire? NSW Police have said that we need to take action to protect ourselves.
Under these types of conditions fires can spread very quickly with little warning so we should not wait around to see if fires worsen.
We should also not expect a firetruck to come if you call for help, according to NSW Police. They have warned that there are simply not enough fire trucks for every house and if you see fire you should take action and evacuate immediately.
Of course our safest option is to leave early. We’re being told to avoid bush fire prone areas and if your home is surrounded by bush land you should not be there.