04 February 2011

Total Fire Ban Advice for Saturday 5 Feb 2011 - Greater Sydney and other areas

Good Afternoon Everyone,
On Saturday, hot, dry and windy conditions are expected to increase fire dangers to dangerous levels in parts of NSW.
A TOTAL FIRE BAN has been declared for tomorrow, Saturday 5 February 2011.
The Commissioner, NSW Rural Fire Service will TOTALLY BAN THE LIGHTING OF FIRES from midnight tonight [Friday 4 Feb 2011] until midnight tomorrow night [Saturday 5 Feb 2011] in the following NSW Fire Areas:
Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney Region
Central Ranges, Monaro Alpine,
The Blue Mountains Local Government Area is part of the Greater Sydney Region Fire Area.
What does this mean?
Saturday will be very hot, dry and windy. This combination can effect fire behaviour and cause smaller fires to increase in size and intensity quite rapidly. The lower-than-average humidity and strong winds - and presence of very high temperatures - is of great concern.
After another very warm night tonight, temperatures in the lower Mountains will climb into the mid-40's and the upper Mountains will see mid-to-high-30's. West- to North-West winds will strengthen during the day. A late wind change is possible later on Saturday evening.
Saturday will be very hot across Sydney with temperatures into the forties in many suburbs with a very warm night to follow, but cloudy conditions on Sunday and a cooler southerly change during the afternoon will provide welcome relief from the heat, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
Volunteer Firefighters from the NSW Rural Fire Service will be on stand-by at a number of locations throughout the area.
During a Total Fire Ban no fire may be lit in the open and all Fire permits are suspended. This includes incinerators and barbecues which burn solid fuel, e.g. wood or charcoal.  
You may use a gas or electric barbecue, but only if:
  • It is on a residential property within 20 metres of the house or dwelling
  • It is a picnic area and the appliance is approved by Council, National Parks or State Forest
  • It is under the direct control of a responsible adult
  • The ground within 2 metres of the barbecue is cleared of all materials which could burn
  • You have an immediate and continuous supply of water available
Lighting a fire on a day of Total Fire Ban attracts a fine of up to $5500 and/or 12 months gaol. Penalties for a fire that escapes and damages or destroys life, property or the environment can attract much greater fines and gaol terms with maximums at $100,000 and/or 14 years gaol.  
What else can I do?
Be aware. If a bushfire does get going, the situation can change very quickly. Be prepared to activate your Bushfire Survival Plan.
People should take simple precautions to ensure they stay healthy in the heat by staying well hydrated, avoiding alcohol and hot or sugary drinks, limiting your physical activity and trying to stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day. If you can, it's a good idea to spend some time in an air-conditioned building.
Signs of heat-related illness include confusion, dizziness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, weakness, headaches and loss of sweating. People showing any of these signs should seek urgent medical attention through their GP or local emergency department. For life-threatening emergencies, call '000' immediately.
During days where a Total Fire Ban has been declared, we will be doing our best to keep everyone informed of any major incidents that might impact on our community. This may not necessarily be a fire in the Blue Mountains, but even a fire in another area can send significant amounts of smoke in our direction.
If you see a fire, report it immediately by calling '000' and asking for the Fire Brigade!
Stay safe,
Inspector Eric Berry
Community Safety Officer
NSW RURAL FIRE SERVICE                         
Blue Mountains District
Cnr Valley and Bathurst Roads
Katoomba NSW 2780
T: 02 4784 7444
M: 0414 195 615
F: 02 4784 7461
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