Intense heatwave, strong winds fuel bushfires in Australia

by IANS |

Sydney, Sep 20 (IANS) Strong winds and intense heatwave fuelled bushfires in Australia after which extreme fire danger warnings were issued for greater Sydney and the Hunter region, media reports said.

On Wednesday, 63 grass and bushland fires were reported along the New South Wales coast including 12 that were uncontained.

"It's September and we're already experiencing four days in a row of temperatures above 30C with high winds, communities needed to be prepared" The Guardian quoted NSW premier Chris Minns telling reporters on Wednesday.

Bureau of Meteorology senior meteorologist Miriam Bradbury said heat was expected to ease by Wednesday night and on Thursday morning in NSW when temperatures were forecast to top 22 degrees Celsius in Sydney.

New South Wales Rural Fire Services (NSW RFS) had on Tuesday declared that a total fire ban is in place for the Greater Sydney Region and Far South Coast area, Xinhua news agency reported. 

"High temperatures and strong winds are the perfect conditions for a bushfire. On those days, the RFS can declare a total fire ban which means no fires out in the open, including wood or charcoal barbecues," said the fire authority, urging residents to stay ready to act.

On the state's Far South Coast, the NSW Department of Education decided to temporarily shut down 20 public schools on Tuesday after consulting with fire authorities.

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