Wagga on very high fire danger alert with record temperatures set for Tuesday

A very high fire danger warning is in place for Wagga and parts of the Riverina as Wagga braces itself for a record hottest December day.

Temperatures are expected to reach 43 degrees on Tuesday. The record 43.2 degrees was set on December 21, 1953.

Rural Fire Service Riverina zone operations manager Bradley Stewart said if a fire were to break out, lives and property could be lost.

“We advise the community to stay up-to-date,” Mr Stewart said.

“Unless there is a firm plan in place to defend the property that is backed up by ability, property owners should leave as soon as possible.”  

Farmers are being urged to closely monitor the weather to prevent the outbreak of crop fires caused by harvesters and other farm machinery. Property owners are encouraged to refer to the Grain Harvesting Guide.

Wagga’s Fire and Rescue crews are also on alert with Turvey Park Fire and Rescue Commander Jeff Edwards echoing the need for the community to be aware of changing conditions.

“The extreme temperature and those northerly winds makes for a bad combination, especially for grass fires and bushfires as well,” Mr Edwards said.

“For the community, the biggest thing for them is their homes, their pets, and more importantly themselves; their family is the most important thing. Our job is to make sure they are all okay.

“If you have any kind of medical condition, if you’re elderly or young, Tuesday’s conditions will play massive havoc with your emotional and physical ability. Taking that into account, make sure you are well prepared and to make sure your house is cleared.

“Smoke detectors can give you an extra 30 or 40 seconds to get out of a house and potentially save your life.

“If a fire breaks out near your premises, my advice is just to leave very early.”

Fire and Rescue is also urging the community to keep a watchful eye out for anyone near properties that don’t belong to them.

“Please do take notice of anything suspicious or untoward, and please don't approach those people at any stage, but rather call Crime Stoppers on 1300 333 000,” Mr Edwards said.

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