Dangerous fire weather and poor air quality are forecast for NSW as firefighters brace for deteriorating bushfire conditions ahead of New Year’s Eve.
The Bureau of Meteorology says temperatures will start building on Monday and are likely to climb past 40C in western Sydney and parts of regional NSW by Tuesday.
“Conditions will deteriorate again as it heats up on Monday with very high to severe fire dangers forecast for areas of the state,” the bureau said on Sunday evening.
The NSW environment department is forecasting poor air quality in Sydney on Monday, warning that pollution will be “unhealthy for sensitive people”, particularly those with heart or lung diseases.
RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons says deteriorating weather conditions could result in “extreme” fire danger across large parts of the state by Tuesday.
“We can expect a broad geographic area of extreme fire danger ratings, which will extend through places like the southern ranges, the Illawarra south coast and probably down through to the Monaro area, down through the high country,” he told reporters on Sunday.
Severe fire danger ratings are in place on Monday for the southern Riverina, southern slopes, Monaro alpine region, southern ranges and far south coast.
Total fire bans are also in place for large chunks of eastern and southern NSW.
“Deteriorating conditions are forecast the next few days with expected high temperatures and strong winds,” the RFS said on Sunday evening.
“If you have plans to travel through or are staying in bushfire prone areas during this time you should consider the risk, monitor changing conditions and be aware that roads may be closed without warning.”
The NSW Rural Fire Service says Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display is unlikely to be canned despite concerns about bushfire conditions.