Sydney, Dec 28: About Australian 1,300 firefighters on Saturday continued backburning and strengthening containment lines ahead of worsening weather conditions that are forecast until December 31.
There were currently 82 blazes across the state on Saturday, half of which were yet to be contained, as a “very high” fire danger warning was in place for much of the east coast, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
Total fire bans have been ordered in the Monaro Alpine, Southern Ranges and Southern Slopes regions.
Temperatures on the east coast are expected to soar as a heatwave makes its way to Australia’s south-east.
Sydney’s temperatures are forecast to climb to 35 degrees on December 31, while smoke haze and temperatures in the low 40s are forecast for the city’s west.
“There will be widespread severe and extreme fire danger in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven, so a number of total fire bans are likely through those areas on Tuesday (December 31),” New South Wales (NSW)Rural Fire Service spokesman James Morris.
“All fires are continuing to burn, a lot of them in remote and rugged terrain. Our main focus is monitoring them and trying to deepen those containment lines.”
Meanwhile, two men have been charged for allegedly deliberately lighting fires on the South Coast and the Hunter Valley region on Saturday.
A 71-year-old South Coast man was charged for allegedly lighting a fire without a permit at his property. This fire was the start of the Araluen Road blaze, now more than 100 hectares in size, said The Sydney Morning Herald.
Permits for open fires are required during the bushfire danger period, which runs from October 1 until March 31.
The second man was charged on Friday after Hunter Valley police noticed him emerging from bushland covered in soot at the scene of a bushfire near Greta Street, Aberdare, near Cessnock.
The Police arrested the man and charged him with two counts of intentionally causing fire and allowing it to spread.