New South Wales (NSW) Rural Fire Service confirmed that 81 bush and grass fires are burning across the state as of 12:00 (local time) Thursday, August 16. More than 600 firefighters are working to battle the blazes, 38 of which are uncontained. NWS fire officials elevated "watch and act" alerts for two uncontained fires, one near Bega that has burned 3317 hectares (8196 acres) and another by Ellangowan that is 740 hectares (1829 acres). Prolonged drought and recent strong winds have contributed to the proliferation of the unseasonal fires.
Bushfires can occur year-round in southeast Australia and are most common from December to March.
Individuals in affected areas are advised to exercise caution when traveling in areas near the wildfire, adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities (e.g. evacuation orders), and monitor the situation. Children and those with respiratory illnesses are advised to limit outdoor activity.