1.3 m homes in Australia at risk of bushfire

Updated: 2013-09-30 17:03


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SYDNEY - Australia's New South Wale (NSW) fire authorities warned on Monday that 1.3 million homes in the state are at the high-risk of bushfire.

Currently, 55 bushfires are burning around the state, with 24 of them still out of control.

"That's around us. It's not around the corner, it's right around us now," Emergency Services Minister Mike Gallacher said on Monday morning at the Rural Fire Service's headquarters in Sydney.

NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has urged people to write their bushfire plans down.

"The Bureau of Meteorology have over the last six weeks or so dramatically revised the forecast as we head into the next three months leading into summer," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

"We're looking at above normal conditions in terms of temperatures and indeed a deficit of moisture, an absence of rainfall, across much of NSW.

"You've got the indicators that say we're going to be in for a very difficult and challenging fire season."

He said the RFS has been focusing on hazard reduction burns around Yass, Coonabarabran and the Shoalhaven area in the state.

Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said people in suburbia also need to know that they can be impacted by bushfires.

People living in the Blue Mountains, as well as residents of Lane Cove, Warringah and Sutherland should have their bushfire plans prepared, he said.

"What this season is shaping up to so far is not only a reminder of last season in country and regional areas, but of course the fire risk is at the door of the Sydney Metropolitan Area," Gallacher said.