NSW in grip of heat­wave

The Weekend Post - - News -

Cat­a­strophic fire dan­ger and black­outs were pre­dicted in NSW as soar­ing tem­per­a­tures swept across the state.

CAT­A­STROPHIC fire dan­ger and black­outs were pre­dicted in NSW as soar­ing tem­per­a­tures swept across the state.

Ex­treme heat meant there was un­prece­dented de­mand on the state’s power net­work and the NSW gov­ern­ment was plead­ing for res­i­dents to limit their en­ergy use yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

Western Syd­ney was tipped to reach 44C yes­ter­day with the city fore­cast for a cooler 38C.

The western Rive­rina town of Hay had reached 47C by yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

Syd­ney would get no relief over the week­end with high 30s and low 40s fore­cast across the city.

The Hunter re­gion would cop the brunt of the ex­treme heat through the week­end with Sin­gle­ton and Cess­nock top­ping the pre­dicted tem­per­a­tures with 46C to­day and 43C to­mor­row.

Hard­est hit would be towns in the state’s far north and west in­clud­ing Bourke and Ivan­hoe – tipped to reach 47C and 48C on the week­end.

NSW En­ergy Min­is­ter Don Har­win said the state was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a record de­mand for power.

The Aus­tralian En­ergy Mar­ket Op­er­a­tor fore­cast NSW de­mand to reach about 14,700 megawatts – the high­est-ever de­mand in the state.

A very high fire dan­ger cov­ered much of the state with Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice Com­mis­sioner Shane Fitzsim­mons say­ing the week­end would be “very dif­fi­cult” for fire­fight­ers.

With tem­per­a­tures tipped to rise above 40C there was a state-wide to­tal fire ban in place for to­day and to­mor­row.

“No fires out in the open,” the RFS an­nounced yes­ter­day.

Mr Fitzsim­mons warned of a po­ten­tial “cat­a­strophic” fire dan­ger warn­ing to­mor­row, “largely around the Hunter, from the coast, mid-north coast, out through the Cen­tral Table­lands, the top end of the greater Syd­ney re­gion and out to the cen­tral west”.

Res­i­dents should have their bush­fire sur­vival plans ready.

“We need ev­ery­body in these most-at-risk ar­eas to do their part,” he said.

The state’s Forestry Cor­po­ra­tion has closed all forests between Syd­ney and Kempsey in the state’s north, along with forests in the Pil­liga re­gion and the Tal­le­ganda State For­est on the South­ern Table­lands, with the sit­u­a­tion to be re­assessed for to­mor­row.

NSW res­i­dents are ad­vised to stay out of the heat, with Emer­gency Ser­vices Min­is­ter Troy Grant sug­gest­ing peo­ple take refuge in air­con­di­tioned shop­ping cen­tres and movie the­atres.

Health ex­perts are re­mind­ing peo­ple to stay hy­drated and to wear sun­screen.

“Those most at risk of heat-re­lated ill­nesses are ba­bies and young chil­dren, preg­nant and nurs­ing moth­ers and peo­ple over 65 years, who should all avoid be­ing out­doors in ex­treme heat,” Pri­mary Health Care’s Dr John Hous­ton said.

THOSE MOST AT RISK OF HEAT-RE­LATED ILL­NESSES ARE BA­BIES AND YOUNG CHIL­DREN, PREG­NANT AND NURS­ING MOTH­ERS AND PEO­PLE OVER 65 YEARS DR JOHN HOUS­TON

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