Strong winds fanned a number of bushfires around the region and prompted a police warning about dangerous road conditions after a motorcyclist was killed in a crash on Sunday.
The motorcycle crash happened on Sunday morning at Eden on Nethercote Road when a man riding with his group of friends left the roadway and hit a tree.
Police officers were on the scene within minutes, but were unable to revive the rider. The crash prompted police to warn motorists that high winds, rain, and even sleet were creating dangerous conditions for road users, particularly as a southerly change swept up the coast.
The incident was the second motorcycle death in the region over the weekend, after a woman was killed in a crash on Curley’s Corner near Wyndham on the far south coast on Friday.
Police said there didn’t appear to be any link between the two deaths and the annual Snowy Ride, which attracted hundreds of motorcyclists to the Snowy Mountains over the weekend.
Meanwhile, strong, dry winds on Sunday also had firefighters on edge around NSW.
A 2 hectare grass fire at Currawilla, on Taralga Road north of Goulburn, was upgraded to a “watch and act” status by the NSW Rural Fire Service on Sunday afternoon due to dry westerly winds that were gusting up to 65 km/h.
A NSW RFS spokesman said there was no immediate threat to property, but in the dangerous conditions fire crews urged people in the area to be wary.
The dry, windy weather also fanned a fire that has been burning in the Southern Tablelands, east of Braidwood, for more than two weeks.
More than 70 firefighters were battling the 6300 hectare Wirritin fire, which was also upgraded to a “watch and act” status on Sunday.
The spokesman said the fire was being brought under control and was not posing an immediate threat to properties, but firefighters on the ground had warned that could change within hours if the poor fire weather persisted or worsened.
In another incident, motorists along the Hume Highway at Goulburn were able to see firefighters working on a very small grassfire that was brought under control on the side of the road near the a highway exit south of the city.
The spokesman said with humidity below 30 per cent, and a southerly change on Sunday afternoon only expected to bring relief to coastal areas of NSW, firefighters were on high alert.
“We’re keeping a very close watch on a few of the major fires to make sure the wind doesn’t cause an extra problem,” the spokesman said.
Wind gusts at Goulburn hit 78 km/h during the day, while gusts in Canberra reached as high as 70 km/h at the airport in the afternoon before they were due to ease in the evening.
A southerly change was forecast to hit the capital on Sunday afternoon, cooling overnight temperatures to 0 degrees before a relatively cooler top of 19 degrees on Monday.
The first half of the week in Canberra is expected to bring frosty mornings but mostly sunny days, with the temperature warming up to 30 degrees by Thursday.