In New South Wales (NSW), the Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) has reported around 104 ongoing fires at the "advice" level across the state, 36 of which are burning uncontrolled as of 20:30. The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) have forecast heavy rain and thundershowers to fall on most of NSW on Thursday, January 16, with up to 25mm (1 in) of rainfall expected along the South Coast. The rain, expected to ease the bushfire crisis in the coming days, could however trigger landslides across the state.
A heightened security presence, road closures, telecommunication disruptions, and power outages are to be expected in the vicinity of any wildfire. Up-to-date information on the fires in NSW can be found here, in SA here, and in Victoria here.
Over 10.3 million hectares (25.5 million acres) of land have been burned, and at least 2000 houses destroyed since the wildfires broke out on October 9. At least 28 people have also died in the region as of January 13. Authorities have indicated that the fires were due to high temperatures and droughts.
Wildfires are an annual event in Australia between December and February; however, authorities have been on high alert since September 2015 over unseasonably warm temperatures, prompting scientists to speculate that climate change could be extending and increasing the intensity of the fire season.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, keep abreast of warnings, anticipate transportation and power disruptions, and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities, notably evacuation orders.
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