Fire danger rising in eastern Australia
Hot, dry and windy weather is likely to cause severe to extreme fire danger ratings in parts of Queensland and NSW during the next two days.
A series of cold fronts passing over southeastern Australia will direct dry and gusty westerly winds across parts of NSW and Queensland on Thursday and Friday. These winds, combined with temperatures in the low-to-mid thirties, will elevate fire danger ratings in both states.
Very High to Severe fire danger ratings have been forecast for most northeastern and eastern districts of NSW on Thursday. These conditions have prompted the state's Rural Fire Service to declare total fire bans in the North Western, Northern Slopes, New England, Far North Coast, North Coast, Greater Hunter and Greater Sydney fire areas.
Severe and Very High fire danger will persist in parts of NSW on Friday and also spread into southeastern and central Queensland, where Extreme ratings are tipped for the Darling Downs and Granite Belt District.
According to a recent report, the area of NSW already burned by fires this season is larger than the last two seasons combined.