873 homes destroyed in fires with number expected to rise.
873 homes destroyed in fires with number expected to rise.

873 homes destroyed and threat is far from over

At least 873 NSW homes have been destroyed this fire season with teams still assessing more properties believed to have been lost in recent days.

The NSW Rural Fire Service on Tuesday confirmed 873 homes and 2048 outbuildings have been razed, while another 353 homes have been damaged.

A further 100 homes are also believed to have been lost since Thursday, but they're still being assessed due to limited access, the RFS tweeted.

More than 80 fires were burning at advice level throughout the state on Tuesday afternoon, including the huge Gospers Mountain blaze northwest of Sydney, the Green Wattle Creek fire southwest of the city and the Currowan bushfire on the South Coast.

Meanwhile, more than 2000 firefighters are making crucial preparations before deteriorating conditions return.

Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers speaks to media with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian after touring bushfire affected areas of the Blue Mountains on Monday, December 23. Picture: AAP
Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers speaks to media with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian after touring bushfire affected areas of the Blue Mountains on Monday, December 23. Picture: AAP

RFS deputy commissioner Rob Rogers previously said the coming days would be "very important" to get back-burns in place.

"Then, hopefully, it won't be so much of a risk as we go into the next batch of warm weather, looking like Sunday-Monday into next week," he said on Monday.

The current bushfire crisis could stretch on for weeks, with long-term weather forecasts not predicting significant rainfalls until January or February.

Firefighters say heavy rainfall is needed to help extinguish massive fires such as the 488,000-hectare Gospers Mountain blaze.

Fire danger ratings on Tuesday are very high in the central ranges and southern slopes regions, and are between high and moderate across the rest of NSW.

 

A house and car damaged by Saturday's catastrophic bushfires in the Southern Highlands village of Balmoral, south west of Sydney, on Monday, December 23. Picture: AAP
A house and car damaged by Saturday's catastrophic bushfires in the Southern Highlands village of Balmoral, south west of Sydney, on Monday, December 23. Picture: AAP

 

THREAT FAR FROM OVER

Firefighters say the NSW bushfire crisis is far from over as they use cooler weather to make crucial preparations before deteriorating conditions return.

The immediate bushfire threat hasn't passed for areas such as the Blue Mountains, said deputy commissioner Rogers.

"The next few days are going to be very important to try and get (back burns) in place and then hopefully it won't be so much of a risk as we go into the next batch of warm weather, looking like Sunday-Monday into next week," he said.

The current bushfire crisis could stretch on for weeks, with long-term weather forecasts not predicting significant rainfalls until January or February.

Two bushfires approach a home located on the outskirts of the town of Bargo on December 21, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. Picture: David Gray/Getty
Two bushfires approach a home located on the outskirts of the town of Bargo on December 21, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. Picture: David Gray/Getty

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Firefighters say heavy rainfall is needed to help extinguish massive fires such as the 488,000-hectare Gospers Mountain blaze.

Damage assessment teams are expected to confirm around 100 homes have been destroyed in bushfires since Thursday.

Most of the losses were from the huge Gospers Mountain blaze northwest of Sydney, the Green Wattle Creek fire southwest of the city and the Currowan bushfire on the South Coast.

Mid-Western Regional Council Mayor Des Kennedy says five homes have been lost around the town of Ilford.

Bushfire affected regions of the Blue Mountains where the Gospers Mountain megafire destroyed dozens of buildings. Picture: AAP
Bushfire affected regions of the Blue Mountains where the Gospers Mountain megafire destroyed dozens of buildings. Picture: AAP

"I think we've lost five homes in the Ilford - Razorback - Running Stream area at the moment," he said.

"Luckily, no fatalities, no loss of life or bad injuries." There were some 92 fires burning across the state on Monday night, all of them at an "advice" alert level.

Fire danger ratings are very high in the central ranges and southern slopes regions on Tuesday, and are between high and moderate across the rest of NSW.

-AAP


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