Thursday , April 15 2021

Hundreds of schools are set to close as deadly fires threaten Sydney – Daily Mail,

Hundreds of schools and nursing homes will be closed on Tuesday as a deadly ring of bushfires are set to encroach on Sydney, officials have warned.

NSW Department of Education released on Monday a list of public and independent schools across the state that will shut down as dangerous blazes continue to threaten Sydney’s suburbs.

As of this afternoon, more than 400 schools are scheduled to close tomorrow, including about 300 public schools and more than 100 Catholic and independent schools, and more than 50 did not operate today.

About 20 TAFE campuses will also close.

‘Safety remains the number one priority. If it is not safe to travel to school please do not attend and inform the school of your intention, ‘said Education Minister Sarah Mitchell.

The Rural Fire Service will continue to update thelistof closures throughout the day as they assess danger levels in at-risk areas.

Fire chiefs announced they are expecting ‘catastrophic’ conditions for Tuesday as temperatures are set to reach (C, with 60 km / h winds and low levels of humidity.

Authorities are employing all available safety measures in the fire effort, including defense resources after Chief of the Defense Force Angus Campbell issued an order to local base commanders.

RAAF aircraft have transported firefighter strike teams from Canberra, Adelaide and Hobart to Port Macquarie.

The suburbs most directly at risk are near the bushland areas around the city such as the Hawkesbury region and Hornsby in the north, Penrith in the west and Camden and Sutherland in the south.

Scroll down for full list of school closings

Nervous wait: Wytaliba resident Storm Sparks holds her son Zeke Bacon as she waits to get back to her house at a roadblock near Glen Innes on Monday

The suburbs most directly at risk of fire are near the bushland areas around the city such as the Hawkesbury region and Hornsby in the north, Penrith in the west and Camden, Campbelltown and Sutherland in the south. Fire chiefs cannot predict exactly where fires will be and have urged residents to keep up with the situation which may change due to the weather

Fire Fighters inspect burnt vintage motor bikes in Torrington on November 11, 2019 in Torrington, Australia


Afterlee Public School

Aldavilla Public School

Alfords Point Public School

Annangrove Public School

Arcadia Vale Public School

Avoca Beach Public School

Awaba Public School

Balgowlah North Public School

Barkers Vale Public School

Barnsley Public School

Baryulgil Public School

Bates Drive School

(Beechwood Public School

Bellbrook Public School

Bellingen High School

Bellingen Public School

Belltrees Public School

Ben Lomond Public School

Berowra Public School

Bilgola Plateau Public School

Bilpin Public School

Biraban Public School

Black Hill Public School

Blackheath Public School

Blacksmiths Public School

Blaxland East Public School

Blaxland High School

Blaxland Public School

Blue Haven Public School

Boambee Public School

Bobin Public School

Bomaderry High School

Bonnells Bay Public School

Bonnet Bay Public School

Bonville Public School

Botany Bay Environmental Ed Center

Bowraville Central School

Brewongle Environmental Education Center

Brisbania Pub lic School

Brooklyn Public School

Bundeena Public School

Bungwahl Public School

Callala Public School

Camden Haven High School

Camden Park Environmental Ed Center

Cardiff High School

Cascade Environmental Education Center

Cattai Public School

Caves Beach Public School

Central Mangrove Public School

Cessnock East Public School

Chandler Public School

Chatham High School

Chatham Public School

Chifley College Dunheved

Chifley College Senior

Coffee Camp Public School

Collins Creek Public School

Colo Heights Public School

Colo High School

Colo Vale Public School

Comboyne Public School

Comleroy Road Public School

Como West Public School

Congewai Public School

Coolongolook Public School

Coopernook Public School

Cooran bong Public SchoolComboyne Public School

Comleroy Road Public School

Como West Public School

Congewai Public School

Coolongolook Public School

Coopernook Public School

Cooranbong Public School

Copacabana Public School

Copmanhurst Public School

Coramba Public School

Corindi Public School

Coutts Crossing Public School

Cowan Public School

Crescent Head Public School

Crossmaglen Public School

Cundletown Public School

Deepwater Public School

Dora Creek Public School

Dorrigo High School

Dorrigo Public School

Dorroughby Environmental Education Center

Dudley Public School

Dundurrabin Public School

Dunoon Public School

Ebor Public School

Elands Public School

Ellerston Public SchoolEllison Public School

Emmaville Central School

Empire Bay Public School

Emu Heights Pub lic School

Engadine West Public School

Eungai Public School

Falls Creek Public School

Fassifern Public School

Faulconbridge Public School

Fennell Bay Public School

Fern Bay Public School

Field Of Mars Environmental Ed Center

Frederickton Public School

Freemans Reach Public School

Galston High School

(Gibberagong Environmental Ed Center

Girrakool School

Glen William Public School

Glenbrook Public School

Glenreagh Public School

Glenvale School

Glossodia Public School

Goolmangar Public School

Goonengerry Public School

Grays Point Public School

Green Hill Public School

Grose View Public School

Gwandalan Public School

Hallidays Point Public School

Hannam Vale Public School

Harrington Public School

Havenlee School

Hazelbrook Public School

Heathcote East Public School

Helensburgh Public School

Henry Fulton Public School

Hernani Public School

Herons Creek Public School

Hill Top Public School

Hillside Public School

Holgate Public School

Hopetown School

Hornsby Heights Public School

Huntingdon Public School

Huskisson Public School

Illawong Public School

Jannali Public School

Jiggi Public School

Jilliby Public School

Johns River Public School

Karangi Public School

Kariong Mountains High School

Katoomba High School

Katoomba North Ps

Katoomba Public School

Kemps Creek Public School

Kempsey East Public School

Kempsey High School

Kempsey South Public School

Kempsey West Public School

Kendall Public School

Kenthurst Public School

Kentlyn Public School

Kincum ber High School

Kincumber Public School

Kitchener Public School

Krambach Public School

Kulnura Public School

Ku-Ring-Gai High School

Kurmond Public School

Kurrajong East Public School

Kurrajong North Public School

Kurri Kurri High School

Laguna Public School

Lake Cathie Public School

Lake Munmorah High School

Lake Munmorah Public School

Lansdowne Public School

Lapstone Public School

Larnook Public School

Laurieton Public School

Lawson Public School

Leura Public School

Lindfield Learning Village

Lisarow High School

Lisarow Public School

Loftus Public School

Long Flat Public School

Longneck Lagoon Environmental Ed Center

Larnook Public School

Laurieton Public School

Lawson Public School

Leura Public School

Lindfield Learning Village

Lisarow High School

Lisarow Public School

Loftus Public School

Long Flat Public School

Longneck Lagoon Environmental Ed Center

Lowanna Public School

Lucas Heights Community School

Macdonald Valley Public School

Main Arm Upper Public School

Manly Vale Public School

Manning Gardens Public School

Maroota Public School

Marsden Park Public School

Martins Creek Public School

Marton Public School

Matthew Pearce Public School

Medlow Public School

Megalong Public School

Melville High School

Menai High School

Menai Public School

Merewether Heights Public School

Milbrodale Public School

) Mingoola Public School

Mitchells Island Public School

Modanville Public School

Moorland Public School

Morisset Public School

Mount George Public School

Mount Hutton Public School

Mount Keira Public School

Mount Kembla Public School

Mount Kuring-Gai Public School

Mount Riverview Public School

Mount Victoria Public School

Mullaway Public School

Nabiac Public School

Nana Glen Public School

Narara Valley High School

Narranga Public School

New Lambton Heights Infants School)

Nimbin Central School

Nords Wharf Public School

North Gosford Learning Center

North Haven Public School

Nymboida Public School

Oakville Public School

Oatley West Public School

Old Bar Public School

Orama Public School

Orara High School

Orara Upper Public School

Otford Public School

Ourimbah Public School

Oxley Island Public School

Pacific Palms Public School

Palm Avenue School

Peats Ridge Public School

Pelaw Main Public School

Penrith Valley Learning Center

Penrose Public School

Pleasant Heights Public School

Point Clare Public School

Pretty Beach Public School

Raleigh Public School)

Repton Public School

Rollands Plains Upper Public School

Royal National Park Environmental Ed Ctr

Rukenvale Public School

Rumbalara Environmental Education Center

Samuel Gilbert Public School

Sandy Beach Public School

Scarborough Public School

Sir Eric Woodward Memorial School

Somersby Public School

Springwood High School

Springwood Public School

St Helens Park Public School

St Ives North Public School

Stanford Merthyr Infants School

Stanwell Park Public School

Sussex Inlet Public School

Swansea High School

Tanilba Bay Pu blic School

Taree High School

Taree Public School

Taree West Public School

Telegraph Point Public School

Terrey Hills Public School

Thalgarrah Environmental Ed Center

Tharawal Public School

The Beach School

The Channon Public School

The Cook School

The Risk Public School

Tinonee Public School

Tomaree High School

Tomaree Public School

Tomerong Public School

Tuggerah Lakes Sec Coll Berkeley Vale

Tuggerah Lakes Sec College Tumbi Umbi

Tuggerah Public School

Tuntable Creek Public School

Turramurra High School

Tyalla Public School

Ulong Public School

Upper Coopers Creek Public School

Upper Lansdowne Public School

Urbenville Public School

Vincentia High School

Vincentia Public School

Vineyard Public School

Wakefield School

Wamberal Public School

Warrimoo Public School

Waterfall Public School

Wentworth Falls Public School

Whian Whian Public School

Whitebridge High School

Wiangaree Public School

Willawarrin Public School

William Bayldon Public School

Wilsons Creek Public School

Windsor Park Public School

Wingham Brush Public School

Wingham High School

Wingham Public School

Winmalee High School

Winmalee Public School

Wirreanda Public School

Wisemans Ferry Public School

Woodenbong Central School

Wooglemai Environmental Education Center

Woolgoolga High School

Woolgoolga Public School

Wooli Public School

Woronora River Public School

Wyong Creek Public School

Wytaliba Public School

Yarrawarrah Public School

Yarrowitch Public School



Manning Valley Anglican School, Cundletown

Tuntable Falls Community School, Nimbin

Alesco Senior College – Coast Campus , Tuncurry

Port Macquarie Steiner School, Port Macquarie

The Nature School, Port Macquarie

Rainbow Ridge School for Steiner Education, Lillian Rock

Pete’s Place South Blacktown, Blacktown

Taree Christian School, Taree

Nautilus School Port Macquarie, Port Macquarie


Wycliffe Christian School, Warrimoo

Korowal School, Hazelbrook

Forrestville Montessori School, Fore stville

Lindfield Montessssori, Lindfield

Alesco Senior College – Raymond Terrace, Raymond Terrace

St Phillips Christian College DALE Young Parents Wyong, North Wyong

St Phillips Christian College DALE Young Parents Waratah, Waratah

Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner, Byron Bay

Mountains Christian College, Blackheath

Warrah Special School, Dural

Kinma Preschool & Primary, Terrey Hills

St Columba Anglican School, Port Macquarie

Hawkesbury Independent School, Kurrajong

Atwea College – Coast Campus, Tuncurry

Newington College – Lindefield Campus, Lindfield

Yanginanook School, Belrose

Lorien Novalis School, Dural

Ngaruki Gulgul (NG) Central School, Kariong

Chrysalis Steiner School, Thora

Mater Dei School, Narellan

Macksville Adventist School, Macksville

Kindlehill School, Wentworth Falls

N ambucca Valley Christian Community School, Nambucca Heads

John Colet School, Belrose

Manning Adventist School, Tinonee

Gaulston College, Ingleside

Central Coast Sports College, Kariong

Darkinjung Barker College, Yarramalong

) Medowie Christian School, Medowie

St Andrews Christian School, Clarenza

Columba Cottage Early Leaning Center / OSCH, Port Macquarie

Northern Beaches Christian School, Terrey Hills

Berowra Christian School, Berowra

Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School, Middle Cove

Armidale Waldorf School, Armidale

Kuyper Christian School, Kurrajong

BEFORE: Clear skies and green trees stretch behind the bright coastline at Dunbogan Beach

AFTER: The usually blue water is transformed into a violent orange, as reflected by the smokey skies

Before and after: Clear skies and green trees that stretched behind the bright coastline at Dunb ogan Beach (left) transformed into a violent orange, as reflected by the smokey skies (right)

But fire bosses have warned ‘no area is entirely safe ‘as high winds could send dangerous embers capable of sparking secondary fires towards beachside suburbs such as Manly and even the CBD, home to the Opera House.

Ben Shepheard of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service warned that ‘everywhere in Sydney’, as well as surrounding areas, may be affected.

‘The high winds we are expecting on Tuesday mean that embers travel large distances. For example, if there is a fire in Garigal National Park then embers may fall in and around Manly, ‘he told Daily Mail Australia.

Sydney nursing homes and aged care centers are also preparing for the worst and have been reviewing evacuation plans as the city braces for what authorities are calling a ‘unprecedented level of bush fire danger.’

Currently, the facilities that are most at risk are those in Maitland, Coffs Harbor, Forestville and Bateman’s Bay.

In Sydney’s Northern Beaches, police issued a statement on social media warning residents that tomorrow ‘will not be a normal day.’

‘We’re hoping for the best but planning for the worst. The best is no fires, ‘they said in a Facebook post. ‘The worst is a 1 in 100 year event. ‘

Northern Beaches Police issued a statement on social media warning residents that tomorrow ‘will not be a normal day’

Danger: Sydney is facing ‘catastrophic’ fire conditions on Tuesday. Pictured: A smokey haze over Port Macquarie, northern NSW on Sunday night

State of emergency: Fire chiefs warned that conditions on Tuesday could be so bad that it will be too dangerous for firefighters to try to put out the flames. Pictured: A smokey haze over Port Macquarie, northern NSW on Sunday

Raging: A huge inferno took hold near Yeppoon, central Queensland. Almost 50 fires are burning in Queensland with crews focused on three that could threaten lives

Map of horror: A diagram issued by the Rural Fire Service warns of a catastrophic danger – the highest level – to the Greaterv Sydney and Greater Hunter regions as temperatures will hit 37 C on Tuesday


NSW Police have released important public information regarding bush fires as the state braces for ‘catastrophic’ conditions tomorrow


Chief of the Defense Force Angus Campbell has issued an order to local base commanders to make clear they can use defense resourc es in the fire effort.

RAAF aircraft have transported firefighter strike teams from Canberra, Adelaide and Hobart to Port Macquarie.

Singleton Army Barracks in NSW is on stand-by to provide accommodation and catering support **** to firefighters from the Victorian Country Fire Authority.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Service are using Kokoda Barracks in Canungra to refuel aircraft.

Defense has embedded planners into Queensland State Disaster Coordination Centers and New South Wales Rural Fire Service headquarters.


More than 400 schools across the state will be shut, including about 300 public schools and more than 100 Catholic and independent schools.

About 20 TAFE campuses will also close.

‘Safety remains the number one priority. If is not safe to travel to school please do not attend and inform the school of your intention, ‘Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said.

A list of the affect schools can be found on NSW Department of Education’swebsite, which will be updated throughout the day.


RFS has issued a catastrophic fire danger rating for the Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, Illawarra / Shoalhaven areas.

Catastrophic is the highest level of bush fire dangers and homes are not designed to withstand a fire in these conditions.

While there are large population centers under catastrophic conditions, there are also large areas of Severe and Extreme fire danger.

This includes areas where we already have dangerous fires burning – and these conditions will be worse than those experienced last week.

A Total Fire Ban is in place for the whole of the state.


RFS is urging residents to stay up to date on fires in their area by downloading the ‘Fires Near Me’ app: https: / /

Residents are advised to evacuate as soon as they sense danger as some fires could start and spread quickly with little warning, and emergency services are not guaranteed to arrive in time.

What to do:

  • Start taking action now to reduce your risk.
  • Avoid bush fire prone areas. If your home is in a bush fire prone area, the safest option is to not be there.
  • Do not travel through bushland areas.
  • A safer location may be a large town or city, shopping centers or facilities well away from bushland. It may also be a designated ‘Neighborhood Safer Place’.
  • A Neighborhood Safer Place is designed as a Place of Last Resort in bush fire emergencies only. Please note that traveling to or sheltering at a Neighborhood Safer Place does not guarantee your safety.
  • People with special needs, such as the elderly and people with a disability, should always leave before the threat of bush fire.
  • If you’re preparing to leave, make sure you pack your medications, including those in the fridge. Smoke can cause health problems, especially for people with pre-existing lung and heart conditions like asthma, emphysema, angina or heart failure.
  • Avoid outdoor physical activity if it’s smoky, particularly if you have a pre-existing condition like asthma. People with asthma should follow their asthma management plans. If you have asthma, make sure you keep your reliever medication close to hand.
  • If it is unsafe to leave the area or stay and defend your property, and the path is clear, you should move to your pre-identified Neighborhood Safer Place, or other safer location, prior to the impact of a bush fire.
  • Be aware that when you are traveling to your Neighborhood Safer Place there may be heavy smoke and poor visibility.
  • It is important that you are familiar with the area. Gather at the Neighborhood Safer Place location and remain there until the bush fire threat has passed.
  • The conditions at the Neighborhood Safer Place may be uncomfortable and you may be affected by heat, smoke and embers.
  • Water, toilets and food may not be available at the Neighborhood Safer Place and emergency service personnel may not be present.
  • Neighborhood Safer Places are not intended for pets and livestock.
  • For more information about the fires, contact the Bush Fire Information Line – 1800 679 737

Bureau of Meteorology (BoM):

A strong cold front will move through NSW on Tuesday, with hot, dry and gusty conditions ahead of the front generating very dangerous fire conditions over the ranges, slopes and coast.

All people in bush fire prone areas in NSW need to have a bush fire plan, remain vigilant, and monitor warnings and messages from the RFS.

Damaging wind gusts are also possible over parts of the southern ranges, Illawarra, Sydney coastal fringe and Hunter Coastal Fringe on Tuesday. Areas of raised dust are also forecast west of the Great Dividing Range, and there is a change that this system will bring dust to some coastal districts.


Evacuation Centers are in place throughout fire-affected areas of the state. The most up-to-date information is available at

The NSW Police Force keep their Facebook page up to date with evacuation centers that re open. Please monitor


Motorists should delay all non-essential travel.

Many roads remain closed due to bush fires. Be prepared for conditions to change quickly and roads to close suddenly.

If you need to travel, also make sure you’ve got water, food, supplies and a full tank of fuel. Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged before you set out.

If you’re already traveling when a bush fire starts, follow the directions of emergency services personnel.

Due to fire activity, both man and local roads may close without warning. For the latest information on road closures, check or download the Live Traffic NSW app or call 132 (**********************************************************************.

All North Coast Train Services, from Sydney to Casino and Sydney to Grafton and their return trips have been cancelled until Wednesday due to the bush fires. Passengers are advised to delay any non-essential travel to the bush fire-affected areas.

For the latest information on public transport, check or download a transport app or call 131 500.


NSW Ambulance recommends if anyone sustains any form of burn they should cool the affected area immediately with water – ideally running water – for a minimum of 20 minutes (for eyes ensure you flush the eye) and seek medical attention.

NSW Ambulance is always here to help – never be afraid to call Triple Zero.


Include your animals in your bush fire plan.

If you can, take your animals with you. Assistance from AASFA is available if you attend an evacuation center.

For those impacted and seeking assistance for emergency fodder, emergency water (for immediate animal welfare cases only) or animal assessment (resulting from the fires) please contact the AASFA Hotline on 1800 814 647.


Large volumes of waste have been generated from the bush fires and the EPA will work with local authorities to ensure the waste can be appropriately moved and disposed of when it is safe to do so.

The EPA is also monitoring impacts on its licensed premises and providing advice to licensees about how to manage their sites given the challenging conditions.

The community can report environmental concerns to the Environment Line 24 / 7 on 131 555.


The State Emergency Recovery Controller has indicated a State Recovery Committee will be established to coordinate the significant recovery effort resulting from this event. The EPA will play a key role on the state level and related regional level committees which are likely to be active for the remainder of the bush fire season.


Keep at least 8 meters away from fallen power lines or objects that may be energized, such as fences.

Report fallen power lines to either Ausgrid (131 388), Endeavor Energy (131 003), Essential Energy (132 080) or Evoenergy (131 093) as shown on your power bill.

On Monday morning, as more than 100 fires burned in New South Wales and Queensland, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian officially declared a state of emergency for the first time since October 2013.

Fire chiefs warned that conditions on Tuesday could be so bad that it will be too dangerous for firefighters to try to put out the flames.

‘In those conditions, fire behavior is erratic and extreme to say the least and we won’t be putting fires out when they take hold,’ said NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons.

‘Suppression is futile. The focus is on life safety and life protection … The risk is absolutely real. ‘

On Monday afternoon the fire service extended the area facing’ catastrophic ‘danger from Greater Sydney and the Hunter region to includethe Illawarra and Shoalhaven.

Some 400 firefighters are flying in from interstate and 50 firetrucks are driving up from Victoria to be stationed in the Hunter region.

Dozens ofschoolshave announced they will close on Tuesday while electricity network operator Ausgrid has cancelled maintenance work and is preparing emergency crews to deal with power lines collapsing.

The fires are producing so much smoke that Brisbane’sair qualityis three times worse than Beijing’s – as the smog blows as far east as New Zealand and Vanuatu.

As of Monday afternoon, there were around 60 active fires in New South Wales and 50 in Queensland.

On guard: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured on Monday at RFS HQ) officially declared a state of emergency which will last for seven days – as fire chiefs warned the infernos will be too dangerous to put out

A bird’s eye view: A photo from a plane over north eastern New South Wales as more than 100 blazes ravage Queensland and NSW

Helping hand: A resident puts out small fires as he rides his motorcycle in Old Bar, New South Wales on Sunday

Ravaged: A burnt car at a property destroyed by a bushfire near Glen Innes, New South Wales – as the worst is yet to come

The Sydney councils suffering ‘catastrophic’ fire conditions on Tuesday: A full list

T he Hills


Blue Mountains




Canada Bay




Hunters Hill



Lane Cove



North Sydney













Central Coast


Georges River

Inner West

Northern Beaches

Source:NSW RFS

Amid Australia’s worst drought on record, devastating fires are ravaging the ea st coast earlier in the year than normal.

Over the weekend a man and two women in their sixties died in northern New South Wales as they attempted to flee too late – and more than 100 people, including 20 firefighters, have been injured.

Apocalyptic footage showed the sky over Port Macquarie turn a vibrant orange due to the flames and smoke on Sunday night.

Millions of dollars worth of damage has been caused as insurance companies send specialist disaster teams into fire-ravaged areas, with 150 claims lodged by 11 am on Monday, according to theInsurance Counci l.

The body has declared the NSW North Coast to be in a state of catastrophe, meaning that claims there will be looked at as a priority.

Destruction: A firefighter works to contain a bushfire near Taree, New South Wales by spraying water on a smoldering tree

Firefighters from Tasmania are being mobilized to relieve exhausted Queensland crews, with the danger far from over. Pictured: A huge inferno near Yeppoon, central Queensland

Inferno: A fire ravages the land near Glen Innes , New South Wales as a series of devastating blazes sweep through the east coast

Damage: On Sunday a fire truck was hit by falling branches at Nambucca Heads and two firefighters were rushed to hospital with injuries

Climate change campaigners are blaming the disaster on global warming – but Scott Morrison on Sunday refused to say if climate change is a factor.

‘My only thoughts today are with those who have lost their lives and their families,’ he said after he was heckled by a protester in Taree where he was visiting victims.

Ms Berejiklian mimicked his stance on Monday, saying: ‘I thought it was inappropriate that people were trying to talk about climate change yesterday when people wanted to stay alive . ‘

Ruins: A house destroyed by a bushfire is seen in Torring ton, near Glen Innes. Dozens of homes have been ruined by the fires

Like father, like son: NSW Rural Fire Service volunteers Bob (left) and Greg Kneipp, a father and son, pose for a photo after successfully defending a property in Torrington, near Glen Innes

Fires take their toll: More than 100 are hurt by infernos

Doctors and paramedics on the ground have treated more than 100 people hurt during NSW’s devastating bushfires, 20 of them firefighters injured trying to protect communities.

NSW Ambulance Commissioner Dominic Morgan is considering bringing in extra resources from interstate.

‘Over the last few days our doctors and paramedics have been exceedingly busy; they’ve treated over 100 patients for fire-related activity, ‘he told reporters in Sydney on Monday.

‘ We had a whole range of things that have been confirmed from very severe burns, sadly resulting in a loss of life in some instances , right down to minor injuries and minor burns. ‘

Mr Morgan paid tribute to the firefighters his teams had treated who were injured in the line of duty.

‘ That’s something that we should all be recognizing, ‘he said.

‘ Up to 20 (of the people treated) have been directly related to firefighters being injured while protecting their own communities. ‘

Mr Morgan said 30 additional ambulance crews would be deployed across the state to ensure additional protection as well as extra air assets.

Keeping watch: Firefighters keep a close eye on a bushfire approaching in Old Bar, New South Wales as they battle to control the blazes

Battle: A firefighter works to contain a bushfire near Glen Innes, New South Wales as more than 100 blazes ravage the eastern states

Smoldering: Fire burns on Bolivia Hill near Glen Innes on Sunday. Firefighters are struggling to contain blazes across the east

‘It wasn’t a bushfire, it was a firestorm’: Residents tell of horror as homes are destroyed

Residents thought they were going to die huddled in their small NSW community’s fire station during an ‘apocalyptic’ bushfire that sounded like a freight train and rained down embers and soot.

The Northern Tablelands village of Torrington, population 81, lost a dozen homes on Friday as the worst fire in living memory engulfed the town.

While some residents fled early on Friday, Linda Birch was among those to take refuge in the town’s metal fire station.

Smoke soon crept under the doors of the shed as embers bombarded the vents.

‘It wasn’t a bushfire, it was a firestorm,’ she told AAP.

‘The ferocity of this sto rm was that immense that we needed to put masks on within the shed as well. ‘

Ms Birch admitted she thought she was going to die, describing the situation as’ apocalyptic’.

Residents are warned to prepare to evacuate early and head to town centers and other safe places on Monday. Pictured: Firefighters in Taree

Outside, the volunteer firefighters who were barely able to see a few feet ahead of themselves watered down the shed and hoped it survived .

‘The sound was like a freight train, we couldn’t hear ourselves, we couldn’t talk, we just reacted,’ Ms Birch said.

‘We weren’t sure if anyone survived outside. My husband and Leigh’s husband were outside. ‘

Jennette Styles said Victorian firefighters managed to save the community hall -‘ the hub of our village ‘- but homes dating back to the early 20 th century and their contents had been lost.

‘Our heritage, our history is just disappearing,’ she said.

‘It’s an amazing village because we have beautiful people here and we care about each other.

‘ We pull together, but we need someone to come out and talk to these people who have lost houses.There are people who aren’t insured or don’t own the property or who have lost $ 85, 000 sheds. ‘

The volunteer firefighters continued f ighting the blaze over the weekend, saving Geoff Hilton’s home and shed just in time.

‘How close do you want it to be?’ he says, looking at scorched earth forming a ring around his shed.

Torrington RFS captain Greg Kneipp and his deputy, his dad Bob, have been battling the blaze since it began two weeks ago, with a few days rest in between.

They were thankful for the support of out-of-town and interstate crews, aerial water bombing and those carting water to the station to fill the trucks. )

‘This would be the worst fire and I’m 47 years in the RFS. This would be it by far and only because of the dry conditions is it so bad, ‘Bob Kneipp said.

He said the camaraderie of the fire crew was one of the reasons he stayed in the RFS but has noticed young people are less likely to sign up.

‘We’re a big happy family,’ he said.

‘Even when the strike teams come in … within a couple of days, we know every one of them. ‘

NSW on Monday declared a state of emergency for seven days as bushfires continued to rage across the state.

A map issued by the Rural Fire Service warns of a catastrophic danger – the highest level – to

What does a state of emergency mean?

A state of emergency allows emergency services personnel to:

Direct the public to evacuate an area or not enter an area

Order power and gas supplies to be shut off

Shore up or pull down buildings

) Enter premises to facilitate the exercise of these powers.

It’s the first time a catastrophic fire danger has been declared for Sydney since new fire ratings were introduced in 2009.

‘High temperatures, strong winds and low humidity are forecast, making conditions dangerous,’ NSW Rural Fire Service warned on social media.

‘Catastrophic is the highest level of bush fire danger. Homes are not designed to withstand a fire under these conditions.

‘If a fire starts and takes hold during catastrophic fire danger conditions, lives and homes will be at risk.’

Residents are warned to prepare to evacuate early and head to town centers and other safe places on Monday and not wait until the last moment on Tuesday.

A catastrophic fire danger has been forecast for Sydney on Tuesday in the wake of the bushfires that have devastated the Taree region on the NSW north coast in recent days

Devastation: Scott Morrison comforts 85 – year-old Owen Whalan in Koorainghat after he lost his home in a devastating blaze

A map of devastating heat: The dark red regions are where temperatures will soar above 30 C on Tuesday

Unhealthy: As fires burned in Queensland, air pollution in Brisbane reached ‘very unhealthy’ levels, according to theAir Quality Index Visual Map. The purple areas are the worst affected. The air quality there is worse than the most polluted city in the world, Delhi in India

‘For your survival, leaving early is the only option, ‘*** NSW RFS website states.

‘ Leave bushfire prone areas the night before or early in the day – do not just wait and see what happens.

‘Start making arrangements now.If you are unable to leave, identify a safe location which may be nearby. ‘

While NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian described the conditions forecast for Tuesday as’ dire’, the RFS described the threat of lives and homes being lost as’ very real. ‘

‘ We’ve got big population centers covered by that catastrophic fire danger – but also up on the north coast where we’ve simply got a lot of fires burning at the moment, those fires have got a real potential to run and impact on lives and properties, ‘spokesman Anthony Clark told the ABC.

It’s the first time a catastrophic fire warning has been declared for the greater S ydney region

It’s been a horror few days in the state’s north, where raging bushfires have claimed three lives and destroyed at least 160 Homes. Pictured are the bushfires near Glen Innes on Sunday

Large areas of the state are also predicted to see ‘severe and extreme fire danger.’

‘This includes in the north coast and northern NSW areas, where there is a large number of fires already burning. These fires will not be contained in time and will threaten lives and properties, ‘the RFS warned.

A statewide total fire ban has been declared for Monday and Tuesday.

‘We are ramping up for probably another 50 trucks full of crews to be deployed into NSWon Monday night ahead of conditions on Tuesday, NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told reporters

‘We have seen the gravity of the situation unfold … What we can expect is those sorts of conditions to prevail across a much broader geographic area as we head into Tuesday.’

Moisture levels of trees and shrubs around Sydney are lower than during the Black Christmas fires of 2001, according to Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment fire researcher Rachael Nolan.

‘We already knew it was going to be bad’ even before Tuesday’s declaration of ‘catastrophic’ fire dangers for the Sydney and Newcastle regions, Dr Nolan told theSydney Morning Herald.

‘We’re seeing many reports of entire hill slopes of trees dying.’

‘What this means is that there’s lots of dead leaves on the trees and sitting on the surface of shrubs and on the ground. These dead leaves make the vegetation as a whole very dry, and therefore highly flammable. ‘

NSW RFS has described the potential threat of more lives and homes being lost on Tuesday as ‘very real.’ Pictured are firefighting efforts in Old Bar on the NSW mid north coast

More than 60 bush fires continued to burn across the state on Sunday night as conditions eased, with all of the blazes at ‘advice’ and ‘watch and act’ alert levels.

Just under half are still not under control.

‘We’re simply not going to contain many of those fires before the bad conditions do hit on Tuesday,’ Mr Clark told ABC.

Schools in identified high risk areas will be closed and the RFS advises those in the areas of catastrophic fire danger to avoid bushfire-prone areas.

More than 40 schools in NSW will also be closed on Monday due to the impact of the fires in the state’s north.

Parents, carers and staff should not put themselves at risk by traveling if in doubt about whether their school will be open, the department said.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said students sitting their HSC should contact their school if unsure if exams will occur, or if it is unsafe for them to get to an examination venue.

‘Students unable to attend an examination due to the bushfires will not be disadvantaged,’ she said in a statement.

Taken too soon: The victims of the killer bushfires

Lost to fire: Vivian Chaplain, 69, a grandmother of six

Julie Fletcher, 63:The dairy cattle farmer’s body was found in the burnt out remains of her Johns River home near Taree on Saturday afternoon.

She had her car packed with possessions, ready to evacuate butdidn’t make it out in time.

(Vivian Chaplain, 69:The Grandmother of six also died while trying to save her Wytaliba property more than 400 kilometers away near Glen Innes.

George Nole, age unknown:His body was found in a burnt-out car in Wytaliba on Saturday morning.

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