The Rural Fire Service (RFS) issued a watch and act notice due to a bushfire burning out of control in the western Sydney suburb of Northmead (New South Wales) on Sunday, November 29. The fire near Moxham Park on Whitehaven Road is threatening homes in the area and the RFS has confirmed that one property has already been damaged by the fire. Firefighters are working to bring the fire under control.
The fire comes on the second day of a heatwave that saw record overnight temperatures for November. Observatory Hill in central Sydney recorded a minimum overnight temperature of 25.3°C (77.5°F), breaking 1967s November record of 24.8°C (76.6°F). Amid the soaring temperatures, dozens of grass and bushfires have been reported across New South Wales over the weekend. Total fire bans are in place across many northern and eastern areas of the state.
Further spread of the fire is possible in the near term. An emergency response presence and localized transportation disruptions, namely road closures, should be anticipated in the affected areas.
Bushfires are an annual summer event in Australia; however, authorities have been on high alert since September 2015 over unseasonably warm temperatures, prompting scientists to speculate that climate change could be extending and increasing the intensity of the fire season.
Those in the affected areas are advised to monitor the situation, keep abreast of warnings, anticipate transportation and power disruptions, confirm road conditions prior to heading out, and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities, notably evacuation orders.