From bush to Sydney & # 39; s North Shore, authorities warn that the worst is yet to come in a bushfire crisis
While forest fires tear through a million acres along the mid-north coast of New South Wales and hit the suburbs of prosperous suburbs of Sydney, the authorities have warned that the worst is yet to come.
About 80 fires burn from Nowra, south of Sydney, all the way to the Queensland border – the flames feed on a deadly combination of burning temperatures, strong wind and low humidity.
Thousands of residents have not slept all night because there are 11 emergency warnings for uncontrolled fires.
Although the & # 39; catastrophic & # 39; circumstances are expected to calm down on Wednesday, NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said residents in the fire ring are not out of the forest yet.
& # 39; Smugness is deadly. We cannot afford that people are complacent. We simply cannot rest at this stage, & said Mr. Fitzsimmons.
Commissioner Fitzsimmons said the Friday weather forecast means & # 39;we're just not going to get the upper hand on all these fires & # 39 ;.
Existing fires continue to grow rapidly while new ones emerge, with the authorities fearing that some may continue to rage for months.
& # 39; It's going to be a long, difficult burning season, & # 39; he said, and a million acres of land had already been added to the largest fire front ever registered in Australia.
A photo taken on Tuesday evening with the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter shows the harsh reality of the effect of the fires at Maclean in northern NSW
Firefighters have been very alert since Tuesday morning, with a mix of burning temperatures and winds of up to 90 km / h that have a & # 39; catastrophic & # 39; cause warning (photo: residents defending a home in Hillsville near Taree)
Thousands of residents do not sleep all night, because 11 emergency warnings for uncontrolled forest fires remain
Sharnie Moren and her 18-month-old daughter Charlotte watch as thick smoke rises from forest fires near Nana Glen, near Coffs Harbor
A vehicle burns Tuesday in the yard of a house on Bullocky Way, Possum Brush, south of Taree in the Mid North Coast
Discouraging images taken with the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter on Tuesday evening showed the devastating effect of the fires.
The photos were taken from above when the helicopter was called to Maclean in northern NSW to help a woman in need.
& # 39; Due to forest fires in the area, the helicopter was the only option for transportation & # 39 ;, they wrote on Facebook.
The emergency fires include fires in the Wollemi National Park near Lithgow, in Taree on the mid-north coast and inland from Port Macquarie.
A southern change tore through the state late Tuesday evening, with Taree and the surrounding areas hit by fire around 11 p.m., but it was expected that this would cause even worse conditions.
Commissioner Fitzsimmons said the situation could lead to the emergence of what he described as a & # 39; dead man zone & # 39 ;.
& # 39; It is very dangerous for active firegrounds. The simple description of this is when we have very strong north-westerly winds that control fire behavior, you get a fire that generally spreads to the east or south-east, and it is usually a large elongated fire front, & # 39; said Commissioner Fitzsimmons.
& # 39; The head is relatively small in width, but the flanks of the fire become very long. When that fire is hit with a southern breaker or a southern change, that very long flank suddenly suddenly becomes a very broad progressive fire front moving in a northerly direction under a southern change.
& # 39; Historically, when men were the only firemen, it became the & # 39; dead man zone & # 39; mentioned because historically too many firefighters were killed on the northern flanks of fires in southern changes or wind changes entered and the fire spread to what was otherwise a benign side of the fire being driven in a different direction by a different wind direction. & # 39;
On Tuesday evening, a fire truck drives past a forest fire in Nana Glen, near Coffs Harbor
While forest fires burst through a million acres along the Mid North Coast coast of New South Wales, the authorities have warned that the worst is yet to come and can continue for months (photo: the view from the helicopter in Maclean, northern NSW)
Fires burn on both sides of the Pacific Highway, north of Nabiac in the Mid North Coast region of NSW
This frightening photo was taken from above when a helicopter was called to Maclean in northern NSW to help a woman in need
Residents defend a home against a forest fire in Hillsville near Taree, 350 km north of Sydney on Tuesday, while the south side struck around 11 p.m.
In a happy reversal of the events, heavy smoke ensured isolation from strong winds that ran across the Northern Plateaus and meant that different fires did not flare up as much as feared.
But Commissioner Fitzsimmons warned that the southern wind change could still pose a danger on Wednesday morning.
& # 39; The huge task of getting these fires under good control, consolidating, getting around and mopping them up is huge & # 39 ;, he said.
Fitzsimmons said that firefighters & # 39; a very long night & # 39; have gone through. There was no rainfall in the southern change with warm, dry conditions that would dominate the coming days and weeks.
"If we look a little further, we expect a cyclical pattern of rising temperatures if we leave at the end of this week and indeed if we go next week," he said.
Temperatures in the high years & # 39; 30, low humidity and strong gusts of wind combined with drought meant that the state was faced with & # 39; terrible conditions & # 39 ;, according to the RFS, with 300 new fires.
One million hectares of land have been blackened throughout the state, with the largest fire just west of Coffs Harbor removing 15,000 hectares of land with a circumference of 1,000 km.
The locals are being watched while furious forest fires affect farmland near the small town of Nana Glen
The emergency fires include fires in the Wollemi National Park near Lithgow, in Taree (photo) on the mid-north coast and inland Port Macquarie
Fitzsimmons said that firefighters & # 39; really a long night & # 39; because there would be no rainfall in the southern change with warm, dry conditions that will dominate in the coming days and weeks.
Firefighters were busy after a catastrophic fire hazard was declared for the larger areas in Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra
Smoke comes from a large forest fire near Nana Glen and turns orange on Tuesday evening
Two fires also burned out of control in woods close to houses near South Turramurra on the North Shore of Sydney on Tuesday afternoon, with flames leaping as high as four feet into the air.
The fire started just after 4.20 pm, with an RFS-operated Hercules helicopter dropping fire retardant in the area around Canoon Road and Kissing Point Road at around 4.45 pm.
Residents in the area were told it was too late to leave.
"Walked out the front door, fire trucks & # 39; s racing down the street, flames of three, four meters long … pretty hectic," said Sean Murphy Nine news.
Another resident added: & # 39; It seems to be only 20 to 30 meters in, but it took only five or 10 minutes for the entire party to seize and flames probably about 150 feet in the air through the treetops. & # 39;
The bushfire threat has since been reduced from emergency to advice level.
& # 39; The fire is under control and the direct threat to properties has decreased & # 39 ;, tweet NSW RFS just before 6 p.m.
There are fears that the fires of South Turramurra may have been intentionally lit.
& # 39; Someone came to me and asked if I saw someone running out of the bushes because they think it could have been arson, & # 39; a resident told. Seven news.
NSW Police has confirmed that a crime scene has been established in bushland where the fires broke out.
& # 39; We are investigating the circumstances of those fires & # 39 ;, a police spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia.
A fireman who fights against the South Turramurra flames suffered a broken wrist and suspected broken ribs during the fire retardant slipping.
Another two firefighters were also taken to the hospital after breathing in smoke while extinguishing smoke in the Hunter region north of Sydney.
A fireman defends a house on Tuesday evening against a forest fire in Hillville near Taree
Bushland, streets and houses in South Turramurra were a bright pink shade after being sprayed with fire retardant from above
A helicopter sprayed fire retardants on houses and bushland to prevent the uncontrolled fires from spreading on Tuesday
The pink hues depicted were sprayed from above by fire retardants to save South Turramarra houses on Tuesday afternoons
The out-of-control fire in bushland on the north coast of Sydney took its toll from firefighters who ensured that no homes were lost
The eruption along the Liberation Trail northwest of Coffs Harbor has been updated to emergency level.
& # 39; The fire has broken through containment lines and threatens Yarracooma, Paddys Plain, Cradle Creek and Lowanna. If you are in these areas, head towards Dorrigo before it's too late, & # 39; NSW RFS warned.
Commissioner Fitzsimmons urged residents to remain vigilant.
& # 39; We've had fires on the north coast, new fires in other parts of New South Wales, including the Greater Sydney area, & # 39; he told reporters late on Tuesday afternoon.
& # 39; We need people who remain vigilant and act in accordance with their plan and any guidelines from the authorities. We still have many hours of these strong dry winds to dominate and influence weather and fire behavior.
& # 39; We still have the southern change that is expected to come through later tonight, over the fire pit that is still burning in northern New South Wales. We keep a close eye on the fire north of Hawkesbury, in the north of the Hawkesbury area, and enter Putty Road. It develops a fairly significant column of smoke, so we are aware of the potential for that fire to continue to burn and burn aggressively for some time. & # 39;
A fireman was brought to the hospital with wrist and suspected rib fractures after slipping the fire retardant in South Turramurra
Many residents of South Turramurra returned home from work and found their home covered with pink fire retardants
The police confirmed to Daily Mail Australia that they are investigating whether the fires of South Turramurra were intentionally lit. Firefighters are depicted on the scene
Houses on Canoon Road and Barwon Avenue in South Turramurra were sprayed with fire delay on Tuesday afternoon
Fire retardant was placed on Canoon Road houses in South Turramurra on the north coast of Sydney. The fire was brought under control
On Tuesday night, more than 70 fires burned in both NSW and Queensland with up to 20,000 firefighters trying to prevent them from spreading, and the army prepared to use helicopters to evacuate residents whose lives were in danger.
Thousands of residents on the northwest coast of NSW have already been told that it is too late to leave their homes.
NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian has a & # 39; state of emergency & # 39; announced and has handed over the management of the forest fires to the national fire brigade.
As part of this movement, RFS officers can force people to evacuate in risk areas, even if they want to stay and defend their homes.
Firefighters in the mid-north worked throughout the night while southern winds rose around midnight and until Wednesday morning. Pictured: a fireman in Koorainghat on Tuesday
Jamie Fato tries Tuesday to prevent an uncontrolled fire that enters Owen Whalan's property in Koorainghat, near Taree, in the Mid North Coast region of NSW
While the cool change would normally be seen as good news at night and early Wednesday, meteorologist Rob Sharpe explained the dangers to Sky News.
& # 39; Fires burning near the coast will become extremely dangerous if the change arrives if the edge of fire suddenly becomes the fire front & # 39 ;, Sharpe said.
Four people were sued by the NSW police on Tuesday for violating a total fire ban, including a nine-year-old boy.
The youngster was caught with the help of a burner to light a fire in long grass behind Sullivan Street in Worrigee, near Nowra. He received a warning under the Young Offenders Act.
Adding the pain for firefighters and residents at risk is a clear lack of rain on the horizon in the coming days.
"If we look a little further, we expect a cyclical pattern of rising temperatures if we leave at the end of this week and indeed if we go next week," he said.
& # 39; It will be a long, difficult burning season and we usually have the worst conditions ahead of us in the coming months when we face the summer. & # 39;
The shirts off their backs: the three men managed to extinguish the majority of this fire, but know that there is more to come
Desperate measures: residents try to bring down spot fires, from a bushfire, on their way to a house on a site in Koorainghat, near Taree on Tuesday
On hand: a brave firefighter works on Tuesday to extinguish a fire in Koorainghat, near Taree, New South Wales
Protecting their country: residents try to extinguish a fire on Tuesday in Koorainghat, near Taree, New South Wales
Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned of complacency.
& # 39; We don't expect the front until around 2:00 in the early afternoon … it will be a strong wind and blow up all the way along the coast, & # 39; he said to Ray Hadley on radio station 2GB on Tuesday morning.
But the prime minister tried to prevent massive panic and added: & # 39; I just want to assure people, Ray, that everything that can be done is done. & # 39;
Everything that can be done is done
Scott Morrison on Tuesday
& # 39; The only mercy in all this is that there have been a few days to prepare and for people to prepare and I trust that people have done that, & # 39; he said.
Meanwhile, the police have warned of criminals looting from the destroyed homes of destroyed bushfire victims on the northwest coast of NSW.
Gary Worboys, NSW Police Commissioner, said theft & # 39; thorough & # 39; would be investigated and added: & # 39; These communities have suffered enough without individuals stealing what they have left behind. & # 39;
Before and after: clear skies and green trees that stretched behind the clear coastline at Dunbogan Beach (left) turned into a violent orange, as reflected by the smoky skies (right)
Warning: Fire bosses warned of complacency and said the fires are likely to spread throughout the day. Pictured: a fire near Taree, mid New South Wales on Monday
Blaze: a fireman fights the flames on Monday during forest fires at Taree on the mid-north coast of New South Wales
Destruction: an aerial view shows burned forest near Port Macquarie, with some orange trees and others turned into ash
Apocalyptic: there was so much ash on the ground after bushland in Port Macquarie was burned that it looked like snow
Amidst the dangerous conditions, the national fire brigade urged residents to report everyone who threw a lit cigarette, resulting in a $ 1,320 fine on total fire ban days like today.
On Monday, the national fire brigade had warned residents in dangerous areas to escape while there was still time.
& # 39; Some fires can start and spread so fast that there is little time for a warning, so don't wait & # 39 ;, according to a statement.
& # 39; There simply aren't enough fire engines for every house. If you ask for help, you may not receive it. Don't expect a fire truck. Don't expect a knock at the door. Don't expect a phone call. Your safest option is always to leave early. & # 39;
The week-long declaration of a state of emergency gives the National Fire Service sweeping powers to control resources and lead other government agencies.
Head of the defense force Angus Campbell gave an order to local base commanders to use defense equipment in the event of fire.
Destruction: a house destroyed by bushfire in Koorainghat, south of Taree in New South Wales on Monday
Tuesday officials advised people to evacuate while saying that emergency services cannot save everyone. Pictured: Flames entering a residential street on Friday in Harrington, on the Mid North Coast
Residents in Sydney and NSW had Tuesday to deal with & # 39; catastrophic & # 39; because the temperature of the forest fires is expected to increase. Pictured: Firefighters tackle forest fires in Taree, 350 km north of Sydney on Saturday
Nervous wait: Wytaliba resident Storm Sparks holds her son Zeke Bacon while waiting to return to her home at a roadblock near Glen Innes on Monday
Taken too quickly: the victims of the murderous forest fires
Lost to shoot: Vivian Chaplain, 69, a grandmother of six
Julie Fletcher, 63: The dairy farmer's body was found Saturday afternoon in the burnt-out remains of her Johns River home near Taree.
She had her car full of possessions, ready to evacuate did not make it on time.
Vivian Chaplain, 69: The six-year-old grandmother also died trying to save her Wytaliba property more than 400 kilometers away from Glen Innes.
George Nole, age unknown: His body was found in a burnt-out car in Wytaliba on Saturday morning.
Firefighting teams were transported from Canberra, Adelaide and Hobart to Port Macquarie.
More than 400 NSW schools were closed on Tuesdays, including around 300 public schools and more than 100 Catholic and independent schools. More than 50 did not operate on Monday. About 20 TAFE campuses are also closed.
& # 39; Safety remains the number one priority. If it is not safe to go to school, do not go to the school and inform the school of your intention & # 39 ;, warned NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell.
Fire bosses have warned & # 39; no area is completely safe & quot; because strong winds can cause dangerous embers that can cause secondary fires to the suburbs of Sydney's beach.
Ben Shepheard of the New South Wales nationwide fire brigade warned that & # 39; anywhere in Sydney & the surrounding areas could be affected.
& # 39; The high wind that we expect Tuesday means that embers travel great distances. For example, if there is a fire in Garigal National Park, embers can fall in and around Manly & # 39 ;, he told Daily Mail Australia.
Nursing homes in Sydney and elderly care centers are also preparing for the worst and have revised evacuation plans.
About 400 firefighters flew in via the highway and 50 fire engines drove from Victoria to the station in the Hunter region, north of Sydney, on Tuesday.
On hold: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured on RFS HQ on Monday) officially declared a seven-day state of emergency – as fire commanders warned that the heroes are too dangerous to extinguish
The fires produce so much smoke that that of Brisbane air quality is three times worse than that of Beijing – while the smog blows as far to the east as New Zealand and Vanuatu.
During the weekend, a man and two women in their sixties in northern New South Wales died trying to escape too late – and more than 100 people, including 20 firefighters, were injured.
What does a state of emergency mean?
In an emergency, emergency workers can:
Let the public evacuate an area or do not enter an area
Order power and gas supply to be cut off
Build buildings up or down
Enter buildings to facilitate the exercise of these powers.
Apocalyptic images showed that the sky above Port Macquarie got a vivid orange color because of the flames and smoke on Tuesday.
Climate change campaigners blame the global warming disaster – but Scott Morrison refused to say Sunday if climate change is a factor.
& # 39; My only thoughts today are with those who have lost their lives and their families, & # 39; he said after being watered down by a demonstrator in Taree where he was visiting victims.
This was the first time a catastrophic fire hazard was declared for Sydney and the surrounding regions since new fire classifications were introduced in 2009.
& # 39; High temperatures, high winds and low humidity are predicted, making the conditions dangerous & # 39 ;, NSW Rural Fire Service warned on social media.
& # 39; Catastrophic is the highest level of bush fire hazard. Houses are not designed to withstand a fire under these circumstances.
& # 39; If a fire starts and continues during a catastrophic fire hazard, lives and homes are at risk. & # 39;
Destruction: a firefighter works to fight a bushfire near Taree, New South Wales, by spraying water on a smoldering tree
Keeping watch: Firefighters watch a bushfire in Old Bar, New South Wales as they fight to fight the fire
& # 39; It was not a bushfire, it was a fire storm & # 39 ;: residents tell about horror when houses are destroyed
Residents thought they would die huddled in the fire station of their small NSW community during an & # 39; apocalyptic & # 39; bushfire that sounded like a freight train and that rained down embers and soot.
The village of Torrington, Northern Tableland, with 81 inhabitants, lost a dozen houses on Friday when the worst fire in the living memory engulfed the city.
While some residents fled early on Friday, Linda Birch was one of those who sought refuge in the city's metal fire station.
Smoke soon crept under the doors of the shed while embers bombarded the vents.
& # 39; It was not a bushfire, it was a fire storm, & # 39; she said to AAP.
& # 39; The cruelty of this storm was so immense that we also had to put on masks in the shed. & # 39;
Mrs. Birch admitted she thought she was going to die, and described the situation as & # 39; apocalyptic & # 39 ;.
Bewoners worden gewaarschuwd zich voor te bereiden om vroeg te evacueren en op maandag naar stadscentra en andere veilige plekken te gaan. Afgebeeld: brandweerlieden in Taree
Buiten hebben de vrijwillige brandweerlieden, die nauwelijks een paar meter voor zichzelf konden zien, door de schuur gedrenkt en hoopten dat het zou overleven.
'Het geluid was als een goederentrein, we konden onszelf niet horen, we konden niet praten, we reageerden gewoon,' zei mevrouw Birch.
'We wisten niet zeker of iemand het overleefde. Mijn man en Leigh's man waren buiten. & # 39;
Jennette Styles zei dat Victoriaanse brandweermannen erin slaagden het gemeentehuis te redden – 'het centrum van ons dorp' – maar huizen uit het begin van de 20e eeuw en hun inhoud waren verloren gegaan.
'Ons erfgoed, onze geschiedenis verdwijnt gewoon,' she said.
'Het is een geweldig dorp omdat we hier prachtige mensen hebben en om elkaar geven.
"We werken samen, maar we hebben iemand nodig om naar buiten te komen en met deze mensen te praten die huizen hebben verloren. Er zijn mensen die niet verzekerd zijn of die geen eigendom bezitten of die $ 85.000 loodsen hebben verloren."
De vrijwillige brandweerlieden bleven het hele weekend vechten tegen de brand, waardoor het huis van Geoff Hilton werd gered en net op tijd werd afgeworpen.
'Hoe dichtbij wil je het hebben?' zegt hij, kijkend naar de verschroeide aarde die een ring om zijn schuur vormt.
Torrington RFS-kapitein Greg Kneipp en zijn plaatsvervanger, zijn vader Bob, vechten sinds het begin twee weken geleden, met een paar dagen rust tussendoor.
Ze waren dankbaar voor de steun van bemanningen buiten de stad en bemanningsleden, luchtbombardementen en mensen die water naar het station brachten om de vrachtwagens te vullen.
'Dit zou het ergste vuur zijn en ik ben 47 jaar in de RFS. Dit zou het veruit zijn en alleen vanwege de droge omstandigheden is het zo erg, 'zei Bob Kneipp.
Hij zei dat de kameraadschap van de brandweer een van de redenen was dat hij in de RFS verbleef, maar heeft gemerkt dat jonge mensen zich minder snel aanmelden.
'We zijn een groot gelukkig gezin,' he said.
'Zelfs als de stakingsteams binnenkomen … binnen een paar dagen, kennen we ze allemaal.'
NSW heeft maandag zeven dagen de noodtoestand uitgeroepen, terwijl bosbranden door de staat bleven razen.
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