THE TWEED Shire has been upgraded to a severe fire warning for tomorrow, Sunday February 12 as temperatures soar to what could be the hottest February day on record.
The Bureau of Meterology (BOM) is forecasting a maximum of 39°C in Murwillumbah. The hottest February on record was in 2004 when the maximum temperature soared to 40.9°C.
According to BOM an approaching front to the south is dragging hot, dry air down across New South Wales.
The addition of fresh to strong W/NW winds ahead of this front tomorrow will produce severe to catastrophic fire conditions across the state, with the Tweed rated as severe.
The New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSWRFS) says that, “In these conditions, fires may start easily and spread quickly. It will be difficult for firefighters to contain fires in these conditions.”
“If a fire starts near you and takes hold, you will be at risk. If you are caught in the open, you may die or be injured.”
For a severe fire warning the RFS recommends leaving early for the safest option for survival.
“Well prepared homes that are actively defended can provide safety – but only stay if you are physically and mentally prepared to defend in these conditions.”
“If you’re not prepared, leave early in the day.”
The NSW Rural Fire Service advises you to:
- Action your Bushfire Survival Plan now.
- Monitor the fire and weather situation through your local radio station, http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au and www.bom.gov.au.
- Call 000 (Triple Zero) in an emergency.
For information on preparing for bushfires go to www.rfs.nsw.gov.au
Total fire ban
A total fire ban remains in place over the weekend, 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.
How to avoid heat related illness: http://www.tweedvalleyweekly.net.au/tweed-valley-heatwave-avoid-heat-related-illnesses/