Colder air pushed north across NSW today, gradually edging out
heatwave conditions that have dominated most of the past week. Parts
of VIC and NSW had the unusual experience of snow falling on in bushfire
areas. Daytime temperatures were still in the thirties
NSW and much
of QLD, while northern and western QLD experienced another hot night,
the temperature at Winton only falling to 26.9, 13.8 above average.
Strong winds continued to give firefighters problems in NSW,
and freshened during the early afternoon as a weak trough passed through giving
snow on the NSW Blue Mountains where a fire near Scenicworld at Katoomba
was gradually being contained today. Snow flurries were also reported from Portland,
Lithgow, Clarence and Oberon.
64 fires continued to burn in NSW, the most serious
just south of Kempsey which
people and threatened 100 homes. Another fire broke out at nearby
Crescent Head around 4.30pm threatening 300 homes and causing evacuation
of 90 people.
Nearly 30,000ha has been burnt out on the Northern Tablelands, where 80 people
today were evacuated from Wytalaba, ESE of Glen Innes, as the Hewitts Peak
fire, which has burnt over 4000ha, threatened the settlement. A house and four
other buildings in Wytalaba were destroyed by the fire which
was spotting up
of the main firefront. RFS Superintendent Matt Inwood, told the Glen Innes
Examiner: "The extreme winds on Saturday pushed three existing
fires, Oakwood, Hewitts Peak and London Bridge fires, into one massive fire
front that we have named
the Hewitts Peak complex.
The winds pushed the fire into private property on the Grafton Road during
Saturday and we threw 20 fire crews at the hot spot at Wytaliba solely on property
The winds were gusting from 70km up to 100km an hour, so any attempts to halt
a fire front of that intensity would have been dangerous.
Our fire investigators have said the intensity of this fire was off the scale,
it was that intense it couldn't be measured.
In fact, how those fire crews and residents in Wytaliba managed to keep the
losses to one home and four other unoccupied dwellings and no loss of life
is just amazing."
Other significant fires were burning to the east of Glen Innes
and at Central Mangrove near Wyong. Steady, moderate snow fell
with 10cm reported at Kosiuszko Chalet and Perisher Valley and 5cm in
In VIC, the Princes Highway reopened although the fire
that burnt through Club Terrace yesterday, and which as so far consumed
to cause problems with hotspots despite light rain and easing winds. Regional
Fire Co-ordinator for the DSE, Peter Dowler, told the Age "It's
interesting to note the fires we were fighting at Nowa Nowa yesterday
are now under a blanket of snow". Only
two of the 38 fires that raged in East Gippsland earlier in the week are
In TAS, the wind eased overnight, but snow fell down to at least the
700m level and Lake St Clair reported 10cm of level snow on the ground
at 9am. Snow continued to fall across the Central Plateau during the day,
and wintry hail was reported from coastal locations.
in WA broke the national September record maximum temperature today. West
Roebuck, 30km east of Broome, recorded a top of 43.1, eclipsing the prevous
record of 42.8 set at Wave Hill PO on in 1933. Fitzroy Crossing
Aero also broke the old record with a top of 42.9. Bidyadanga, 100km SW
along the coast from Broome, had its hottest September day in 45 years of
record with a top of 42.4.
On the other side of the continent,
Nambour, north of Brisbane, set a new September high of 35.4, while
Island broke the record it set yesterday with
a top of 23.3 as the island experienced the heatwave air drifting from
the continent over the Tasman.
Sources: ABC, Age, SMH, NSW RFS, News.com, Port Macquarie News, Lithgow
Mercury, Glen Innes Examiner, Weatherzone contributors