Emergency evacuation notice issued as wildfires ravage Australian state

SYDNEY, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- An emergency evacuation notice have been issued by the New South Wales State Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) in Australia on Wednesday, as an out of control wildfire continues to threaten life and property in the area, 156 kilometers north of Sydney.

The blaze in the small community of Richmond Vale, spans around 400 hectares and is currently being battled by 45 firefighters, 14 firetrucks, a water bombing aircraft and two helicopter crews.

But with 32 celsius degree temperatures and warm westerly winds gusting at over 70 kilometers per hour, the extreme weather conditions have made it impossible for authorities to contain the fire.

"This time of year is quite a changeable," Duty forecaster Gabrielle Woodhouse at the New South Wales Bureau of Meteorology told Xinhua.

"Although it's slightly unusually to have these quite warm temperatures in the first two weeks of Spring, we do sometimes see these kind of patterns."

"Ahead of cold fronts, we have north-westerly winds bringing a hot air mass across Western Australian and down through New South Wales and the rest of the coast."

Across the rest of the state, more than 70 bushfires continue to burn with 20 yet to be contained by the NSW RFS.

In the north of Sydney, a blaze at Beacon Hill, which was contained by a team of more than 100 firefighters on Tuesday, has once again reignited.

Local media however have reported that no properties are in danger at the moment.

For much of New South Wales, a total fire ban remains in place, but authorities are hoping that the cooler conditions forecast tomorrow, will provide some relief for emergency services.

As for the rest of Spring and the scorching summer months, there is growing concern that this fire season may be particularly hazardous.

"We are expecting New South Wales to be drier and warmer than average this spring, so having those sorts of factors can mean you have elevated fire danger risks," Woodhouse said.

[ Editor: meng ]


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