KIAMA and Shellharbour join the rest of the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Ranges in facing a catastrophic risk of bushfires today, The Rural Fire Service warns.
Temperatures tipped to reach the early 40Cs and strong winds of up to 70-80km/hr are creating conditions that have been described as ‘‘as bad as they get’’.
At Albion Park it was 30.8C at 6.30am this morning and and 30.9C at Nowra.
The Bureau of Meteorology is not predicting a southerly change until after 9pm tonight
A statewide Total Fire Ban for NSW as the State braces for what RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has said will be one of the worst fire danger days on record.
“I cannot say it more plainly: the risk is real and potentially deadly. People need to act now,” he said.
Emergency alert SMS and landline phone warnings were sent overnight to people in the affected areas. It is not an evacuation order but a warning to be prepared if you are in a bush fire prone area.
According to the RFS if you live in bush land or an isolated area where there is a Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating your only option is to leave early. You could move to a built up area, away from bush land, such as the centre of town.
However, people living in built up areas, well away from bush land, with minimal exposure to vegetation, should monitor conditions and follow their Bush Fire Survival Plan.
Designated RFS Neighbourhood ‘‘Safer Places’’ for Kiama are the Gerroa Fishermans Club Carpark, Gerroa and the Foxground RFS Station building, Foxground Road, Foxground. These places are not evacuation centres, but are described as places of last resort.
The NSW RFS is working with local authorities, including Police, to identify and where appropriate, relocate, at risk persons These at risk people may include: hospitals and nursing homes, National Parks, camping grounds and caravan parks, education and child care facilities.
Listen to emergency broadcaster ABC and monitor the RFS website for updates as well as further information about Bush Fire Survival Plans, details of Neighbourhood Safer Places and the latest Fire Danger Ratings, can be found on the NSW RFS website www.rfs.nsw.gov.au. People are also encouraged to follow the NSW RFS’ Facebook page and Twitter account @NSWRFS to get the latest fire information.
Tips for staying safe in the heat:
. Try to stay out of the direct sun - this is particularly important for the elderly and the very young;
· Drink plenty of water, and if outdoors for a long time, make sure you take a water bottle with you;
· Remember to cover up and use sunscreen - “Slip, slop, slap and wrap”;
· Be sure to wear clothing that protects you from the sun;
· Never leave children or pets shut in your car. Heat generated in a closed car can cause serious illness or even death; and
· Feed children and infants more frequently to help keep up their fluids.
Be aware of the heat during outdoor exercise or strenuous physical activity, especially in the middle of the day.
It is also important to be aware of possible symptoms of heat exhaustion. These include:
· nausea and vomiting;
· fainting and dizziness;
· loss of appetite;
· weakness; and/or
If any of these symptoms occur, lay the person down and apply cool, wet towels around the neck and under the arms, and have them drink cool fluids.
If the person does not respond to treatment or they have severe symptoms such as confusion or collapse, call Triple Zero (000) immediately and ask for Ambulance.