NSW Rural Fire Service is warning residents to prepare for potential bushfires. Lifesavers and lifeguards are out in force with an expected rush to the beaches and hospitals are preparing for a significant increase in heat stress patents at emergency departments. All because of 40 degree plus days across NSW and other south-eastern states.
We need the public to take some responsibility for their own safety,” Surf Life Saving chief executive Steven Pearce said in a statement on Friday. “The tragic incidents we have witnessed through December and early January are a reminder of the power of the ocean.”
The RFS is warning residents of an elevated fire danger and wants people to prepare properties now.
“We will be monitoring these conditions very closely, especially any changes in wind, and there is the potential for conditions to deteriorate further on Sunday in areas including Sydney and the Hunter,” NSW RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said in a statement.
Parts of NSW are tipped to reach 45C on Saturday – including Menindee in the far west and Ivanhoe in the state’s centre. Most of the state will swelter through temperatures above 40C on Sunday including Bulahdelah on the mid-north coast which is set to reach 45C.
Endeavour Energy has reassured customers it has specific plans in place for hot days with emergency response crews on standby in case of equipment failure.
Meanwhile, Melbourne is forecast to reach 41C on Saturday, with northerly winds reaching up to 40km/h. Geelong and Bendigo are forecast to reach a high of 42C on Saturday, and Avalon, Echuca and Warracknabeal 43C.
“This heat is a killer. It’s going to be like a blast furnace tomorrow and you need to adjust what you do,” Ambulance Victoria’s state health commander Paul Holman told reporters on Friday. Heat health alerts have been issued for three Victorian districts as authorities expect a dangerous heatwave.
South Australian authorities are bracing for catastrophic bushfire conditions across the state with soaring temperatures and high winds.
Adelaide will have a top temperature of 41C while the mercury will reach the mid-40s in some regional and outback towns. CFS chief officer Greg Nettleton said the combination of high temperatures, strong winds and low humidity raised the risk of any fires getting out of hand.
Image for illustration purposes.