Residents in danger from the bushfires are being urged to leave now as hot, dry and windy weather will combine to create “catastrophic” fires under conditions not seen since Black Saturday in 2009.
A catastrophic warning has been issued across Sydney but firefighters are expecting the worst, saying conditions will be worse than expected.
Residents near bushland in Sydney, particularly on the outer rings, are told to prepare to leave and closely monitor conditions online.
Gale-force winds and searing temperatures of up to 34 degrees will combine to create the perfect storm of fire conditions.
Hundreds of people have already been evacuated and schools closed as 56 fires burn across the state and eight burn out of control.
20,000 firefighters are set to be on the frontline battling the inferno alongside the army, which has authority to act.
A total fire ban is in place and national parks across the state have closed and air quality warnings are in place for Sydney, where air quality has fallen to “poor.”
People are being told not to assume help is on the way, with firefighters stretched for resources.
A state of emergency has been triggered and firefighters have been handed broad powers to shut down agencies and use additional resources.
Fire officials haven’t seen weather conditions like this since Victoria’s Black Saturday where 179 people lost their lives.
Already fires have burnt through almost a million hectares of bushland.
CATASTROPHIC FIRE DANGER TODAY – Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, Illawarra/Shoalhaven. These are very dangerous conditions and if you are caught in the path of a fire, your life will be at risk. Avoid bushland areas. Stay alert. Stay informed. Stay safe. #nswrfs #nswfires pic.twitter.com/ZTq6sgDLZs
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) November 11, 2019