Nowra and the Shoalhaven have been identified as one of the areas most at risk ahead of tomorrow’s predicted catastrophic bushfire conditions. The Premier Barry O’Farrell and NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons gave a press conference this afternoon (Monday) in which they repeatedly mentioned the Shoalhaven as being one of the most vulnerable areas in the state.
A total fire ban has been applied for NSW from midnight tonight (Monday) with the Premier urging holiday makers camping in bush areas, including those on the South Coast, to consider cutting short their stay and returning home tonight or early tomorrow morning.
"Rethink your need to be in the bush, have a bush fire plan, be prepared but most importantly make sure you are well away from harm's way," Premier O’Farrell said.
“Tomorrow is not just going to be in the 40s, it will perhaps be the worst fire danger the state has ever faced," he said.
"Do what emergency services tell you, particularly the rural fire service. Act early.
"Don't just think, 'Tomorrow is another bush fire danger day, tomorrow is another summer's day'. Tomorrow is going to be the worst fire danger day in parts of this state we've ever experienced in history."
Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said strong winds of up to 80km/h would also play havoc for emergency services.
"It's not just the heat and winds but because there is so much dry fuel and little humidity it's going to be a shocking day," he said.
"We have today more than 90 fires and 20 of those remain uncontained.
"We're expecting awful conditions tomorrow, monitor your local conditions. Listen to radio. Look at the TV. Access social media. Stay tuned to what's happening," he said.
Alongside firefighters will be 60-70 aircraft on standby to help efforts containing any fire outbreaks.