Premier Barry O’Farrell left Parliament to join the effort at RFS headquarters.
Emergency warnings in place for NSW bushfires
(Translation of this article appears in Arabic section)
NSW is facing its most serious fire threat in a decade. Homes have been lost with more than 100 fires now burning across the state, 40 of which are uncontained.
Emergency warnings have been issued for seven fires, with the biggest threat three major blazes burning in the Blue Mountains.
NSW Health has just issued a bushfire air pollution health warning, with air quality in many areas likely to be reduced due to smoke particles.
There are reports of homes already lost at Springwood and Winmalee and an emergency warning has been issued for Mount Victoria. The Lithgow fire has now progressed from that area and is headed to Mount Tomah in the Blue Mountains.
The RFS says the state is now facing the most dangerous fire situation it has seen in at least a decade.
Damaging winds around 60 km/h with peak gusts of 90 km/h in parts of the Hunter, Illawarra, central tablelands, southern tablelands, Snowy Mountains and Australian Capital Territory forecast districts.
Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers says there will likely be "dozens of injuries" to the hundreds of RFS volunteers out battling fires. He says he already knows of one firefighter who has been injured.
"It's probabaly the most serious fire risk we've faced since the early 2000s," Deputy RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers says.
An emergency phone warning has been sent out to all residents in Blue Mountains, warning of several fires and advising to avoid travel.
With multiple fires in the area people who can put off any travel plans for this afternoon are urged to do so.
Premier Barry O’Farrell left state Parliament to join the effort at RFS headquarters.
‘There are parts of the state where currently residents are battling the uncertainty of the outbreak of these fires and our hearts and our thoughts are with them,’’ he told Parliament.
Statewide 595 firefighters were battling 78 bush and grass fires, 31 of them uncontained.