17 October 2007

NSW fires: 16 Oct 07

Fire bans were in effect across much of coastal NSW today, from roughly the Newcastle area southward. Portions of the state on the inland side of the ranges were also included.

Conditions were as predicted across the region. Extreme fire dangers were observed in the Hunter regions, as well as in the Sydney metro area and further south, down in Nowra. FFDI in Sydney hit 83 today, which is quite high. In Canberra and in the north, maximum FFDI was in the very high range.

The image shows the MOIDS true color subset image of coastal region of NSW. Place names are in yellow. The orange words are the names of the fires corresponding with the NSW RFS incident reports. The dark part was captured at 0310 UTC; the remainder at 0440UTC.(It was on the edge of the swath, so the image is a bit dark)...Numerous fires are seen up and down the coast, especially in the northeast corner of the state.

The most serious fire was the Mt Kembla fire, to the west of Wollongong. It threatened houses earlier in the day, but as of the evening of the 16th, the winds have shifted and the fire is being controlled, expected to grow to ~300 ha and remain within containment lines. Some of the hotspots on the map are not identified in the RFS Current Incident reports, particularly those in the NE near Tenterfield.

Oppositely, several of the fires identified in the incident list are not apparent, particularly those in the Sydney area. The main north highway, and train servicesnear Mt Colah was closed earlier today due to a bushfire, but has since been re-opened (approximate local marked with an orange 'x'). Fires in Lithgow and Campbelltown are also not apparent as hotpsots.

Fire weather conditions are not expected to be as severe on the 17th. No fire bans are in effect.

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