Cool change sparks hope as firefighters battle to control blazes
Cool dip … families hit the pool at Dee Why. Photo: Brianne Makin
PEOPLE hit the beach early on Saturday but Mother Nature provided some relief of her own as the day wore on.
The cooler conditions, and even the possibility of rain, brought hope fire crews would finally be able to get on top of three major bushfires that have been burning in NSW for five days.
Of the 96 fires burning across the state on Saturday, seven were not contained and the biggest threat was posed by a blaze 20 kilometres east of Cooma.
It was threatening 15 properties at Countegany and Kybeyan with the Rural Fire Service issuing an emergency warning for that area.
Almost 100 firefighters battling to control the blaze were expected to be helped when a cool change swept through the area during the afternoon.
The forecast for Sydney was downgraded as an earlier-than-expected cool change reduced temperatures on the coast.
And the heatwave reached new highs when Moomba in South Australia hit 49 degrees late on Saturday afternoon, closing in on the 50.7 degrees set at Oodnadatta in 1960.
The Rural Fire Service said favourable conditions are also expected to help crews fighting two other large fires including one at Deans Gap in the Shoalhaven, which began in Tuesday's extreme heat and had not been contained.
The other of the big three blazes, just west of Yass, had been brought under control on Saturday afternoon.
The RFS Deputy Commissioner, Rob Rogers, said the forecast for Sunday was for more favourable weather conditions at all three fire grounds.