THE high temperatures that have dominated most of January will make a return today, bringing a statewide total fire ban with them.
The Rural Fire Service declared the ban from midnight, “due to forecast hot, dry and windy conditions”.
The fire danger across northern NSW today is severe, as Gunnedah and Tamworth are forecast to hit 38 degrees today; Quirindi, Moree and Narrabri 39; and Warialda 40 degrees.
It comes as the Bureau of Meteorology warned of “a hot and windy day for NSW and the ACT”, accompanied by possible dusty conditions.
“We’re seeing a dry front approach from the west to move into the region, bringing gusty and strong windy conditions, with winds up to gale force expected,” BOM meteorologist Rebecca Farr said.
“[We’re ] also expecting a hot day, with temperatures in the north of the state particularly up to the 30s … coupled with these windy conditions, we are expecting elevated fire dangers.”
Under a total fire ban, it is prohibited to light or maintain a fire in the open, or do anything in the open that could cause one, such as welding or grinding.
The NSW RFS also “strongly recommends” that people reconsider activities such as such using a tractor or slashing.
Ms Farr said the elevated fire danger in this part of the state was expected to continue into Wednesday.
There was also the risk of some dustier-than-usual conditions.
“With the dry conditions out west, we are expecting these strong and gusty winds to cause areas of raised dust, with the front potentially transporting that dust all the way to the coast,” she said.
However, the BOM said conditions could change.
“We’ll be closely monitoring throughout the day … to see how much dust we see raised – or not.”