For the first time in a decade, Australian fire officials issued a maximum fire warning for Sydney and the surrounding areas for Tuesday after brush fires killed three people and injured 40 more over the weekend.
The New South Wales Rural Fire Service said the catastrophic fire danger alert was given as they tried to contain more than 60 fires. More than 150 homes have been destroyed and officials said that more will be in danger as temperatures were expected to be near 100 degrees.
“High temperatures, strong winds and low humidity are forecast making conditions dangerous,” the warning stated. “Catastrophic is the highest level of bush fire danger. Homes are not designed to withstand a fire under these conditions.” A tree fell injuring two firefighters on Sunday while fighting one of the fires. Both firefighters have been transferred to a hospital and are in a stable condition.
This shows the dangerous conditions that have confronted firefighters and residents today. This is the crew from Warringah HQ at the Hillville fire near Taree. #nswrfs #nswfires pic.twitter.com/lIhnF8P1Qf
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) November 8, 2019