Bushfires in South Australia as south-eastern states face scorching weekend | Sunday Observer

Bushfires in South Australia as south-eastern states face scorching weekend

People heading to the beach have been urged to take care as health officials fear a rise in deaths and emergencies during the heatwave.
People heading to the beach have been urged to take care as health officials fear a rise in deaths and emergencies during the heatwave.

Severe heatwave conditions forecast for New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, amid warnings of elevated fire dangers

Jan 6: Residents of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia are facing a scorcher of a weekend, and have been advised to drink plenty of water, take care in the surf and prepare properties for bushfire risks.

An “extremely dangerous” bushfire was burning out of control in South Australia’s southeast on Saturday afternoon, and residents were warned their lives and properties were at risk.

An emergency warning has been issued for the Sherwood, Brimbago, Lowan Vale, McCallum and Senior areas near the South Australian-Victorian border.

“If you are in this area you are in danger. There is a risk to your life and property,” the CFS said in a warning just after 2pm on Saturday.

“Take shelter inside a solid building. Do not leave or enter this area in a vehicle or on foot. It is too late to leave and the roads will not be safe.”

The blaze comes amid soaring temperatures and catastrophic fire conditions in the Mt Lofty Ranges, and upper and lower southeast.

SA’s 12 other districts are either severe or extreme, with authorities considering the conditions as the worst in several years.

The CFS has also issued a warning message for a grass fire at McLaren Vale, south of Adelaide, while crews also battling a blaze at Happy Valley, in the city’s south.

In NSW, the Bureau of Meteorology has warned of severe heatwave conditions for much of the state across the weekend with the mercury expected to peak on Sunday.

Parts of NSW are tipped to reach 45C on Saturday including Menindee in the far west and Ivanhoe in the state’s centre.

Most of the state will swelter through temperatures above 40C on Sunday, including Bulahdelah on the mid north coast which is set to reach 45C.

Sydneysiders will avoid the worst of the heat – temperatures are forecast to peak at 38C in the city on Sunday but Penrith could hit 45C.

“A NSW Health study published just last month found extreme heatwaves lead to a more than 10% increase in both deaths and ambulance callouts,” Dr Ben Scalley, director of environmental health at NSW Health, said in a statement on Friday.

“They put a lot of strain on the body and can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.”

Surf Life Saving NSW has implored people heading to the beach to take care, given there have been 10 drownings since the beginning of December.

The RFS is warning residents of an elevated fire danger and wants people to prepare properties now.

NSW Health urged people to drink plenty of water but say they are prepared for a rise in deaths and emergencies during the heatwave.

NSW Police has reminded people it is an offence for children or pets to be left alone in a vehicle, and as the weather heats up it can be fatal. “Despite the most recent warning in December, a dog died after being left in a car at Rose Bay, and in a separate incident a 32-year-old man was arrested and charged at a Guildford hotel after he allegedly left a six-year-old boy in a car,” a police release on Saturday said. Police say livestock and pet owners should ensure clean water is always available, shading is provided where possible and no animals are left in confined, unventilated areas.

People in Victoria have been told to stay inside as parts of the state brace for the hottest day in nearly two years.

Melbourne and Geelong are forecast to reach 42C on Saturday, with winds of up to 40km/h.

Bendigo, Echuca and Avalon are set to climb to 43C, while Mildura and Warracknabeal could soar to 45C.

- theguardian.com 

 

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