'Catastrophic' Conditions in NSW, Total Fire Bans Across Parts Of The Country
What you need to know about the bushfire dangers across the country.
The greater Sydney region will be under "catastrophic" fire danger on Tuesday for the first time since new fire ratings were introduced a decade ago, with NSW bushfires having already claimed three lives.
Although conditions eased across the state on Sunday, by late afternoon two emergency warnings were issued for fires in the north-east of the state and on the Mid North Coast.
A fire at Bills Crossing, north of Taree has already burned through almost 12,000 hectares, with the Rural Fire Service warning people in the Johns River area to seek shelter as the blaze approaches.
The other warning was issued for an out-of-control fire in the Mt Nardi National Park, where people are advised that leaving early is their safest option.
The RFS says "catastrophic" fire danger is forecast for the greater Sydney and greater Hunter regions -- including the Blue Mountains and the Central Coast -- for Tuesday due to worsening conditions.
"High temperatures, strong winds and low humidity are forecast, making conditions dangerous," the agency said in a statement on Sunday.
"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."
Queensland is also on high alert, with much of the east coast set to experience very high fire danger on Monday and Tuesday.
The danger in the Southeast Coast, Darling Downs and Granite Belt, Wide Bay and Burnett regions will increase to severe on Tuesday and Wednesday before the threat eases later in the week.
A State of Fire Emergency has been declared in 42 Local Government Areas in Queensland, banning the lighting of all types of outdoor fires, and bans certain activities that can cause fires to ignite.
"The declaration also prohibits welding, grinding and the use of oxy acetylene cutting or heating outdoors," said Acting Commissioner Mike Wassing of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.
"The use of the machinery and power tools in open areas has the potential to exacerbate the bushfire risk, which is why it is essential people do not use these tools outdoors."
In Victoria, a total fire ban has been issued in Mallee in the state's north-west, with conditions expected to be severe on Monday.
“Tomorrow’s hot conditions could make it difficult for firefighters to supress a fire should one start, therefore we are asking people to take heed of the Total Fire Ban conditions,” said Country Fire Authority State Duty Officer John Katakouzinos.
The Wimmera and Northern Country areas will have 'very high' warnings on Monday, but conditions are expected to ease over the week.
A Fire Danger Period will also come into force at 1 am on Monday for the municipalities of Mitchell, Murrindindi, Hindmarsh, Greater Bendigo, and Yarriambiack.
In Western Australia the fire threat will ease after catastrophic conditions were predicted for Sunday.
Fire bans will stay in place across parts of the state, with conditions to be "mostly severe" on Monday, the WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services told 10 daily.
Urban areas are not expected to be affected with the fire threats confined to the inland middle of the state with low populations.