Unusually high temperatures hit Australia, risk of fires high

Residents in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) were warned on Thursday to prepare for a weekend of unusually high temperatures with a “severe” chance of bushfires.

Maximum temperatures were forecast to be over 40 degrees centigrade in some places, with maximum temperatures 15 to 18 degrees hotter than the November average.

“This will increase the fire risk across much of state with very high and severe fire danger likely on the weekend. Plan and prepare now,” the NSW Rural Fire Service said.

The severe heat, combined with hot winds being blown across from the middle of the country, was expected to create “volatile” conditions similar to those experienced during the worst days of Australia’s deadly 2019-2020 bushfire season.

Australian Bureau of Meteorology scientists added that the unseasonably hot weather could see several temperature records broken.

“Numerous November records may be equaled or broken, as severe heatwave conditions are likely for much of inland South Australia, New South Wales and Northern Victoria,” Meteorologist Dean Narramore said.

The heatwave was expected to continue throughout the weekend and into the beginning of next week, with extremely hot daytime temperatures and little relief overnight.