In the Central Tablelands, Friday should see a sunny morning. Isolated showers and the chance of thunderstorms in the south during the evening, extending throughout late in the evening. Winds NW 15 to 25 km/h increasing to 25 to 35 km/h in the morning ahead of a W/SW change 25 to 35 km/h in the South during the afternoon and evening. The temperature in Lithgow is expected to reach 36ºC before the Southerly Change arrives.
In Mid Hartley it was 28 degrees at 7.45am and by 11am had reached 38 degrees with fresh WNWesterly winds from 24kph gusting to 43 kph. Not nice at all!!!
Total Fire Ban has been declared for the Central & Southern Ranges, Northern & Southern Slopes, North West , Central West Plains, Riverina, Monaro Alpine, Far South Coast, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Sydney & Hunter Fire Districts on Friday 18th January.
Total Fire Ban means not just the lighting of open fires but any activity that may cause sparks that under such conditions could lead to a wild fire – mowing, slashing of grass, chain sawing, welding, angle grinding – driving a vehicle through long grass – are all dangerous activities under these conditions.
If you’re caught lighting a fire on a day of total fire ban, you can be fined up to $5500 and be sentenced to 12 months jail. The fine can reach up to $100,000 and lengthy jail terms if the fire happened to take life, cause injury or destroy property or the environment.
Blue Mountains City Council has published information about the closure of many walking tracks in the National Parks due to extreme fire danger. Information about lookouts and areas that remain open to visitors can be viewed here.
The fire at Doctors Gap has been extinguished, thanks to the Rural Fire Brigades and the town brigades that fought so hard in dreadful heat to protect homes and properties in the Vale of Clwydd and Clarence. Without their hard work we’d be seeing a very different scenario there.