Bush fire conditions in NSW are expected to worsen over the coming week. Catastrophic fire danger is forecast for Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter and Illawarra Shoalhaven areas.
This is the first time since new fire danger ratings were introduced in 2009 that catastrophic fire danger has been forecast for Sydney.
There is potential for significant existing bush fire activity to become worse in Northern NSW, including the North and Mid North Coast.
The State of Emergency declaration, the first since October 2013, allows powers to be transferred from the NSW Government to the Rural Fire Service (RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons. These powers include the ability to:
- direct any government agency to conduct or refrain from conducting its functions
- control and coordinate the allocation of government resources
- evacuate people from property within the declared area
- close roads and thoroughfares to traffic
- pull down or shore up infrastructure at risk of collapse
- order the shutdown of essential utilities in the declared area including electricity, gas, oil and water
- enter or take possession of property in the course of the emergency response.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said NSW has already been hit by some of the most devastating bush fires we have ever seen, with three lives lost and more than 150 structures destroyed.
“With catastrophic weather conditions predicted for this week, particularly Tuesday with hot weather and strong winds, I have decided to take the Commissioner’s advice and make this declaration,” Ms Berejiklian said
“It will ensure our state is best placed to respond to the predicted fire conditions.”
The declaration is valid for seven days from 11 November 2019.