Residents urged to plan early as fire threat draws near

Danger zone: RFS crews could only look on as fire burned out of control on a property at Inberra Road, Bilpin on Thursday. Picture: Geoff Jones
Danger zone: RFS crews could only look on as fire burned out of control on a property at Inberra Road, Bilpin on Thursday. Picture: Geoff Jones

NSW Rural Fire Service deputy commissioner Rob Rogers has urged residents in Kurrajong Heights, Bowen Mountain and Bilpin to have their safety plans in place, ahead of what is expected to be a difficult day for his crews.

A total fire ban covering the Greater Sydney Region has again been issued and the warning level has again been raised to "Catastrophic".

The temperature is expected to reach the mid-40s in the Hawkesbury today and the Gospers Mountain fire has been cited as a "cause for major concern".

While not calling on residents to evacuate, in his press conference earlier this morning, Deputy Commissioner Rogers urged those in the line of fire to consider their capacity to remain safe.

He said that due to the amount of firefronts and resources, residents could not simply expect a fire truck to arrive.

"We'll do our best, but do not rely on that," Deputy Commissioner Rogers said.

"If you're in the path of these fires think about what you are going to do well ahead of time, as in now. If you are going somewhere else, do it this morning, don't leave it until the middle of the day.

"We are expecting the winds to pick up mid-morning. There's an inversion layer that's currently keeping things quiet - the smoke is holding that like a blanket. That will start to lift mid-morning then we'll see rapidly those winds will pick up and temperatures will spike very quickly after that occurs.

"Make sure you check on family and friends, elderly and vulnerable people who may be near you and if need be help them get to a safer place.

"We're not asking for mass evacuations, this is about individuals making smart choices.

"Make sure you report all fires straight away. Report it to triple zero immediately because the minutes it takes us to get there could be the difference between us containing a fire or it getting a hold and causing major problems."

Deputy Commissioner Rogers urged residents within the dangers zones to consider their ability to leave their properties - are they located at the end of a road with a single access point; are they surrounded by dense bushland.

He encouraged those at risk to consider going somewhere safer during the heat of the day.

"We just want to get through the day with lives in tact," Deputy Commissioner Rogers said.

For the latest information throughout the day, visit www.facebook.com/nswrfs or download the Fires Near Me app. In the case of emergency, call 000.