Number of Aus bushfires slowly decreasing but fire dangers due tomorrow

By Jessica Tyson

The honourable work of emergency services in Australia is paying off with the number of bushfires in Australia decreasing as the week continues.

Today there are 121 bush and grass fires burning in New South Wales, with 59 yet to be contained. On Monday there were 130.

The NSW Rural Fire Service says some light rain fell overnight in Sydney and southern parts of NSW which has helped with the recovery.

Crews today are focusing on strengthening containment lines ahead of increased fire dangers tomorrow.

Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons says, “We can expect to see a combination of the hot conditions and westerly winds coming out of the centre of the state, resulting in probably severe fire danger ratings along the back end of the ranges and in parts of the central west.”

Three Royal New Zealand Air Force helicopters and crew are in NSW supporting the Australian Defence Force, as well as around 20 New Zealand firefighters who arrived yesterday.

Building Impact Assessment teams are continuing to making their way through fire-affected areas, to assess the damage to properties.

Since the start of January, 954 homes have been lost.

“This figure is likely to increase. It will take time for teams to work through these areas due to limited access on isolated roads and villages.”

So far this season, which started in June, there have been 1,870 homes destroyed. Fortunately, more than 22,000 buildings have been saved.

The size of the bushfires in Australia is expected to reach five million hectares. Fitzsimmons said so far 4.9 million hectares have been "burnt out".

“Given the activity we've got still, we can expect that number to grow. Unfortunately, I don't think it will be too long before we're up to five million hectares.”