Almost a million hectares of bushland across NSW has been destroyed as firefighters prepare for catastrophic fire danger on Tuesday.
High temperatures, gusty winds and dry conditions will increase the fire danger across the state, as firefighters do their best to protect people and homes.
More than 1400 firefighters have travelled from interstate to help the effort in NSW.
The North Coast has been particularly hard-hit, with communities from Forster to Byron Bay battling blazes, while inland communities around Glen Innes and Tenterfield have not escaped the destruction.
A State of Emergency was declared on Monday, and NSW Deputy Premier and Nationals Leader John Barilaro received an on-the-ground briefing at the Wauchope Fire Control Centre.
“I saw first-hand the damage caused by these ferocious fires,” Mr Barilaro wrote on social media. “I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life and my thoughts are with all those affected. Thank you again to NSW Rural Fire Service firefighters and volunteers on the ground helping these regional communities.?”
Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall, whose Northern Tablelands electorate had seen the ravages of bushfire, also took to social media to express his sadness.
“My heart breaks for all those affected by bushfires once again ravaging the eastern parts of our region,” he wrote. “If it isn’t hard enough being gripped by the worst drought in history, going broke, losing farms, jobs, livelihoods and everything else. A fire rips through their heart taking all that is left with it. It’s nothing short of a tragic disaster, on top of an existing disaster, for those who need and deserve it the least.”
Two people died at Wytaliba over the weekend, and the NSW Nationals join Mr Marshall in mourning with their families and the community. We also support those who survived, but have no home to return to. The monumental rebuilding effort begins soon, with NSW Nationals Education Minister Sarah Mitchell pledging destroyed schools will be rebuilt.
Lastly, if you see a firefighter, please thank them for what they’re doing.