Fire warnings issued for most of NSW
Published: 13 September 2017 Image credit: Media Response Newcastle
The NSW Fire and Rescue Service have issued an emergency fire warning for Richmond Vale near Cessnock, with reports that an out of control fire has broken containment lines in the area.
NSW Rural Fire Service are currently on the scene, armed with an air tanker, and are working to protect properties in the region and slow the spread of the fire.
Residents are advised to seek shelter and protect themselves – the main route through Richmond Vale, Leggetts Drive, has been cut off in both directions.
Emergency services across the state are on high alert today as temperatures soar, bringing the heightened risk of fire.
Aircraft and firefighters are working to protect properties in the Richmond Vale area. Image: NSW Rural Fire Service
With temperatures currently reaching 33 degrees in Sydney – a 150-year record for this early in the season – and wind gusts of up to 35 km/hour, fire weather warnings have also been issued for the North Coast, Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney Region, Illawarra/Shoalhaven and North Western areas.
"Not only is it significant for September, it's even extreme [for so early in the month]," Brett Dutschke, a senior meteorologist with Weatherzone, told Fairfax Media.
"Parts of Sydney are likely to have fire danger ratings going into the extreme category today," Mr Dutschke said.
As of this morning, the Rural Fire Service had reported 70 fires burning across the state, and 20 of them are yet to be contained.