October 1 traditionally marks the start of the fire season in many regions, especially in the eastern portions of NSW, around Sydney. Several stories today reported that it started with a flourish.
A bushfire is burning in the Kuring-gai National Park in northern Sydney.
The Rural Fire Service says eight crews are trying to contain the fire, which is in a fairly rugged area near West Head Road.
No properties are under threat.
Strong winds are hampering efforts to contain the fire which broke out this morning at Oyster Cove in the Port Stephens area and spread quickly, fanned by strong north-westerly winds.
The Rural Fire Service (RFS) says this afternoon the fire broke containment lines and destroyed two homes and a number of sheds at Tilligerry passage.
FIREWORKS may have been used to start a fire that burned to within 500m of homes near Bundeena yesterday before being brought under control.
The fire was reported in the Royal National Park 10 minutes before the official start of the bushfire season at midnight on Sunday.
A broader story covering all these fires is in the Sydney Morning Herald. Some interesting quotes...
[NSW Fire Service spokesman Murray] Hillan said it was concerning to see such fires on the first day of the official bushfire season.
"What it shows us is a day of hot windy weather will bring on the bushfires."
"People might have thought that with the recent rain that we had that we might be in for a bit of respite.
"But I think, just one day of hot windy weather shows that bushfires are capable of starting up and moving on.
"We've had a lot of growth that has come with the rain, and with the drought the ground is dry and the moisture gets sucked up very, very quickly."
At the AWS Newcastle Nobbys, northwesterly winds with sustained speeds of 40-50 km/h were observed for much of the day. Temperatures were in the upper-20s, topping out at 30oC and relatively humidities dipped down below 20% in the afternoon. A 'very high' fire danger day at the least...
Not a particularly auspicious start to the season...