The strong winds expected to whip through New South Wales and Queensland this weekend will make it difficult for firefighters to get on top of blazes burning in both states.
Up to 35 of the 75 bushfires raging across NSW are still uncontained, with fire crews working through the night to consolidate containment lines.
Firefighters are conducting backburning operations to limit the threat to homes after blazes destroyed two homes and 16 buildings in the state’s south west.
While these preventative measures will help in the fight, the NSW Rural Fire Service admits the 35 out-of-control fires will not be contained by the weekend.
Westerly winds reaching 40km/h are predicted for Sydney tomorrow, while the chance of rain is just five per cent.
While conditions are expected to ease by Monday, NSW RFS firefighters are now concerned about how the winds could affect areas of the state’s south coast this weekend.
At Ulladulla, where residents evacuated when the Mount Kingiman blaze proved dangerous earlier in the week, light breezes today are expected to give way to 50km/h winds tomorrow.
Two separate blazes in Ellangowan and Ramornie in northern NSW were the final fires to be downgraded from watch and act warnings to advice messages on last night.
The RFS earlier confirmed the Bemboka fire on the south coast had burnt down two homes and four outbuildings in the Bega Valley, while 11 outbuildings were lost in the Mount Kingiman blaze nearby.
One home was confirmed damaged in the North Nowra blaze.
Nine regions including Sydney have a high fire danger rating for today while all other areas have low-moderate ratings.
NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the strong winds were a big concern for firefighters on the ground.
“We are expecting to see the very high fire dangers dominate again, in the same area we saw yesterday including the northern areas of NSW like the Hunter, the greater Sydney region, Shoalhaven and Illawarra regions,” he told the Today Show
“We have so many active fires still burning in the area and we’re not in summer, but these dry atmospheres and these stronger winds are really causing erratic fire behaviour.”
Queensland RFS Superintendant James Haig told the Today Show the winds will start in the state’s south-east and deteriorate towards the north over the weekend.
“Our advice is to be extremely careful. There are restrictions and local fire bans in place in the south-east,” he said.
“The main thing is please let’s not have any new ignitions, have your bushfire survival plan prepared.”