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Sky News On The Hour 4pm -

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(generated from captions) This program will be live captioned by Ai-Media. Good afternoon, it's 4 o'clock 234 Canberra, 1 p.m. here in Perth as your live rolling News Day continues. I'm Ashleigh Gillon. Our top story. We've still got many hours to go, and we need to remain vigilant and people need to be ready to act should conditions exchange in their area. Four emergency warnings in place in NSW with the residents told to be ready to evacuate. Also today: This southerly change is moving quite slowly and it will be some hours before we see any respite. A slow-moving southerly wind aids firefighters in NSW but there's still into end in sight. And: My prediction would be that will be a fire this afternoon, a fire of significance that will burn with the south-westerly change late in the day and will certainly push from Cooma across towards Bega. Victorian fire authorities on alert to help out in NSW and the ACT as fires burn close to their borders. I'm Vanessa Trezise, also making news today, new evidence is being presented in a pre-trial hearing for the man accused of the Colorado cinema massacre. In sport Australian wild card John Melman knee the second round at the Sydney international. The weather, very hot and humid in the east again tomorrow. Cooler change in the south-east. Heating up in the south. Our top story this News Day. Australia is experiencing another bushfire crisis with extreme conditions in three states. Starting in NSW, there residents are facing possibly the worst fire danger day in history with catastrophic conditions in some regions. More than 140 fires are burning across the state, at least 40 of those are uncontained. There are currently five emergency warnings in place for the state. Let's run through them now. In Tarcutta, near Wagga Wagga, Leary Lane on the upper Lachlan. Brogo near Bega and Carlaminda. Further south and there's been no relief for Tasmanian firefighters. Those firefighters exhausted of course. They're battling strong winds and they try to contain dozens of fires there. No emergency warnings are in place right now, but residents are advised to stay vigilant. There are also total fire bans from the ACT. Some crews have been deployed to Cooma to help extinguish a fire there. We do have reporters positioned around the country to bring us developments as they happen. Let's go first to NSW where those emergency warnings are current and authorities of course trying to keep across some of these fires that are burning out of control. Let's go now to Luke Doherty. Luke, take us through the areas of most concern. One of the most concerning things to come out of that latest briefing that we brought you about half an hour ago was that we now have six areas classified as catastrophic fire dining danger. We started the day in NSW with three of those areas but three more were added in the last half however, parts of the eastern Riverina and part of the central plain. Six areas of concern today. Most concerning is one at the Deans GAP fire. That's what they're calling it in the Shoalhaven Sussex inlet area. There are reports that has crossed the Princes Highway. Concerned about that area because it is highly populated, holiday area and there is a lot of fuel in that area as well, and it is fast moving. On the Tarcutta fire, on the Hume Highway between human the and Wagga Wagga, fire is there, so rest derchts are being urged to stay and shelter at this stage and the Hume has been cut. At the mun Yahl ba fire in NSW, around 3 p.m. that was downgraded to a watch and act. Firefighters were confident they were getting on top of that one, so the downgrading, obviously the fire flirts that area having some success, the Cooma Monaro fire, residents in that area are being told to shelter, the Kybeyan area, 20 hems there. Earlier today the fire passed through an area called Carlaminda, that is near the Kybeyan Valley. They were given around four hours notice as that fire past through Carlaminda. And the Brogo fire is being described as scattered and steep at this stage. Properties on eagle Nest Road and east of Warrigal road and the Princes Highway was affected by smoke as well. That whole region around the Princes Highway which is one of the major routes north and south sow definitely being affected here at this stage today. Ashleigh. Luke, thank you for that. Appreciate the update live from RFS headquarters. We are standing by to bring you an interview with the Shoalhaven mayor which is one of those three major areas in the state at the moment in which firefighters are concentrating their efforts. Actually we have the mayor on the line now, Joanna gash. Can you hear me, that's Vanessa Trezise in the Sky News centre. Tell me what are you hearing this hour about the fires burning in your region. I'm very concerned. They're certainly starting to pick up. The fire that we thought was under control at Deans GAP has broken out again. It's now uncontrollable, taken 15 hectares nearly 5 to 6 hectares this morning. We've had road closures everywhere, got the Princes Highway cut in two locations. A new road between Nowra and Canberra is also being cut. We have an emergency warning in place for bend Long, Sussex inlet, at Barara a large bushfire is burning out of control. Very concern ed that the bushfire is about two to six hours away from properties. We are asking people in Sussex inlet to stay in their homes, not to try and drive out at this stage. It's too late. Too late. Just take us through the independent advice for residents in all these areas areas. There are two emergency centres set up at the Sussex inlet RSL and the bowling club where people can take their dogs as well as themselves for safety. If they're worried by heat and smoke we're suggesting that they go to these evacuation centres as well. It is becoming far more serious as the wind picks up the smoke is also St George's basin, it's quite heavy in Sussex inlet as well. To your knowledge have residents there decided to stay and defend their properties or have they left already? The fire has not - it looks worse than it is, put it that way. The smoke is pretty strong. We're saying that the fire is two to six hours away, if that happens then there will be property in danger aand we need to look at that. At this stage we're asking you not to travel, we're asking you to stay put. What are you and your council doing at the moment to help residents? The council is certainly assisting in as far as evacuation centres are concerned. They have emergency crews on deck in regards to water and sewerage and those sorts of things and not only that, we've got accommodation centres covered. We have welfare areas covered. A large part of our maintenance team is part of the emergency management team as well. Multiple agencies as you know doing their best to try and make sure everyone is safe. We had some good news around half an hour ago about no properties so far in the state being damaged or destroyed. How do you feel that the communication lines are going at the moment? Are you happy with them?Yes, I'm certainly being kept informed. I think that's important and I know that the police are very community minded and certainly the RFS is as well. I think all the web sites are up, certainly Facebook and Twitter and those things. I'm a little concerned some of the comments being made on Facebook and so forth might not be quite correct. I don't want to embellish the situation. I want to be very factual and I hope that people if they're in doubt to give the RFS a ring or ring the council. There's a great application called fires near me app which we've been advertising so people can tell where the fires are. How well prepared are people in these areas? We're talking a lot about that today because despite best preparations no-one's seen conditions like this before. No-one has because a catastrophic fire is one you don't fight, you just try to get the people to safety, make sure they're helped and looked after. A fire like that is very difficult to fight. We appreciate you taking time for updating our viewers, Joanna gash, the Shoalhaven mayor, thank you. Thank you. Let's go to Victoria now where we heard a short time ago from authorities updating the situation there in the state. Let's bring in Loretta Johns. Loretta, can you take us through which parts of Victoria are most at risk this hour. The fire at Kentbruck remains one of the greatest concern. Now increased in size to 9,000 hectares. The community of Drik Drik remains under? Threat from that fire. So there was an emergency warning issued overnight and most residents who were going to leave have left that town. We're told there's about 30 homes in that area. They're not under direct threat at the moment. The alert is watch and act. But firefighters say when there's a south-westerly wind change that could change the direction of the fire and it may impact on the town. Certainly they've been talking to residents in that area and also the nearby community of Dart Moore, that community is not untd direct threat from the fire at this stage but with the south-westerly wind change this afternoon it's unclear how much that fire will spread. Those two townships have been put on alert. Residents have been kept informed throughout the daxt most of the people from Drik Drik have left. Also a fire at sun Bridge about 40 km north of Melbourne. That was a large grass fire. It is now under control so a number of resources were sent there, quite a number of resources, in fact. They very quickly got that fire under control. There was a telephone alert sent to 1400 residents in the sun bri area, that was both landline and mobile alerts sent to those residents and fire authorities said that alert work ed fairly well. Just after the briefing this afternoon our fire Minister said a number of fires have now sprung up in central Victoria. The size and what sort of impact they will have is still unclear. We don't know whether there are any alerts that have been issued. Certainly there hadn't been any official alerts issued as yet. But he said there are a number of fires they are watching in central Victoria. Also today a number of resources sent up to the Wangaratta area. Fire authorities here say they're ready to help in NSW. They are monitoring fires in southern NSW they believe will impact on northern Victoria. We don't allow the borders, South Australian border or Victorian border be a restriction in the way we support each other. It's a collaborative arrangement. It's important to work together. We enjoy those solid relationships daily between the states. Likewise for an example, South Australian CFS have been over the border at dart Moore this week to assist us there and the daort moor to the border is only a kilometre. It's a natural thing to see that state borederings do not have any impact in the way in which we operate. Just to confirm the sun bri fire is now under control. The fire at Kentbruck is still the one of greatest concern. Authorities are hoping that cooler conditions tomorrow will enable them to bring that fire under control. A number of smaller fires we now believe in central Victoria. Thank you for that. We are continuing to bring you the latest information on a number of bushfires burning around the country today. Shortly we're going to take you live to the ACT for an update, a news conference with ACT fire authorities coming up in the next 15 minutes or so. Costay with us for that. Let's move to Tasmania now. There are currently no emergency warnings in place for that state but the devastation from fires over the past few days has been clear to see. Cameron Price has been covering the sphor for us. Today he visited the devastated town of boomer Bay on the Tasman peninsula, showing us the first pictures and footage of homes destroyed in that community. We've made our way in boomer Bay, usually an idyllic holiday spot but it's been decimated by these bushfires. It's previously been in accessible. It's the first time anyone's been able to get in. The sight is a devastating one. House after house has been burned to the ground. All that's left is twisted metal and chimneys. The locals have returned telling stories about survival, trying to save their properties and who the bushfire was too hot, too fast moving. It's amazing the strength of the community, how people rally around and have been helping, got a caravan offered to us, it's been really good. You can probably see over my shoulder the bushfire burning further down the Tasman peninsula at eagle hawk nest. That's impacting towns this afternoon. Emergency warnings are in place for do town, a number of other towns there. The strong winds that have whipped up today are flaming, sparking these fires, causing difficulties for authorities. Here's the chief fire inspector. Much of the south-east of Australia has got extreme to catastrophic weather conditions. Our weather conditions are not as bad. What's concerning us is the strong south-west to westerly winds. We're expecting them to come up up to 40 km/h with possible gusts up to 70 km/h. That will put a lot of pressure on our eastern flanks. Police have released more details about an arrest in relation to a fire in the state's north. A 31 year old man charged for leaving a campfire un#25e7ded that sparked a blaze that's taken more than 10,000 hectares up here Repulse. We've been able to identify a number of witnesses who have been able to identify campers in the area. We've been able to track down the identity of the offender through that way. That's lid to the proceedings against him. A convoy of more than 300 locals has come out of the Tasman peninsula today, many have been stuck in evacuation centres, leaving while the conditions this morning were a little milder. They left into Hobart to seek shelter, many of them telling stories about how they've lost their homes, they've been stuck there for days and days. For locals wanting to get back in, authorities say it is still too dangerous, many power lines down, much damage from the bushfire and authorities still searching for any sign of human remains. Let's update you now on the extreme fire conditions in NSW. Five emergency warnings are in place across the state. 140 fires are burning at the moment. 40 of those are uncontained. Ahron Young has the details from Lane cove National Park in Sydney. They are incredibly hot conditions standing outside anywhere in NSW today and the national parks have been closed. That decision was made late yesterday and since then the camp rangers have been moving throughout the camp sites in the national parks right across NSW urging people to leave. They cannot force people to evacuate unless there is an emergency. But standing here with these strong gusts of winds which kick up every few moments it's a bit like standing next to one of those blow heaters, incredibly strong winds. Right around here from the gum trees to the leaves on the grounds, it is incredible y tinder dry. The park rangers urging people in these national parks who may be camping to leave these zones. It is a hazard at this point. They are saying there are a number of activities that are prohibited, including things like motorbike riding also hurchting and of course camping. Anyone caught trying to pass faces fines of up to $2200. We have heard from the NSW ambulance service urging people to drink plenty of water, to do what they can to stay out of the heat, out of the sunshine today as it continues to get hotter right across the afternoon. Let's get the latest on those weather conditions now, Dick Whittaker from the Weather Channel joins us. Dick take us through this cool change. When is it now expected to hit? Earlier this afternoon Ash it went through the south coast of NSW, Merimbula at about 2 p.m. temperatures dropped by about 15 degrees in half an hour. The next port of call will be Narooma on the south coast of NSW. We think it's going to reach Sydney somewhere between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Unfortunately it means a very hot and uncomfortable night for many in NSW. You can see as that southerly change moves through the very dry air is going to move to the north-east corner of NSW. For tomorrow, north-eastern NSW will become a bit of a fire focus. A very hot and uncomfortable evening for many people across NSW including the Sydney area. Dick Whittaker from the Weather Channel, plernt the update. We'll keep in close contact with you throughout the afternoon as those weather conditions continue to develop. We're always standing by to bring you the latest briefing from ACT, fire authorities for the situation in the Territory. We sale bring you that live shortly here on News Day. Right now Vanessa has some of the day's other top stories for you. New evidence is being heard in a pre-trial hearing for the man accused of carrying out the Colorado cinema massacre. James Holmes is accused of opening fire in a cinema killing 12 people and injuring 58 more. An officer has told the pre-trial hearing that Holmes was relaxed and compliant when arrested after the massacre. A judge will determine at the end of the week whether the 25 year old neuroscience student will faces trial on more than 160 counts of murder, attempted murder and firearm offences. A man is in hospital with a suspected shoulder injury after crashing his motorbike during a police pursuit which crossed the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Officers allege the speeding motor cyclist failed to stop. During the pursuit the driver hit a median strip and fell off the bike in the city. Police say the bike was un registered and uninsured. Sea Shepherd antiwhaling activists are gearing up for another clash with Japanese whalers as the crew prepares to set sail. The group will launch their latest expedition in Hobart today. These are poachers, hunting in an established whale sanctuary and sea shepherd will be doing everything we can within the law to make sure that not a single whale is killed this year. The group says they've saved 3600 whales so far. Last year the crew was detained by Japanese whalers after a confrontation at sea. A thief got more than he barring Arched for when he tried robbing a hotel in Melbourne this morning. Police were called to the hotel at Footscray around 1 o'clock when the thief tried to escape officers by driving through a window. He then ran along the roof and jumped into a beer garden. A cherry picker had to be brought in to bring him down. The 49 year old suffered some injuries. Time for sport now with Megan. And meg pan some tennis players in Sydney really braving the heat as well today. They are doing it very tough. Prance it will be a little bit cooler by Australia's top ranked mens players. Earlier today wild card John millman restored some Aussie pride. Millman blitzed the former world number five in sweltering conditions, the 23 year old taking just over an hour to claim a straight sets victory. That's all he needed, just one much the three match points and John millman cruises on through to the second round. Great win for him. Last night Sam Stosur's nightmare at home continues, going down in three sets. Sam Stosur look the out of touch from her very first serve. Let's hope that's not an indicator of where Sam's head is. China's zunge Shi claimed the opening set 6-3 before the world number nine fought back in the second, eventually claiming it in a tie break. However the world number 26 looked the better of the two in the deciding third as the local favourite was eliminated. Not to be. I don't feel a huge amount of frustration or weight on my shoulders or anything like that. I have to say I feel like I feel really good out there. It's just a matter of trying to play better. So I think at least I couldn't have said that last year here at this point. I feel like I've taken a good step in that direction. Cricket and the Sydney 6ers of a tough task ahead of them if they're to make the Big Bash finals. Set just 128 for victory, Michael Lum led the charges for the 6ers. The Englishman played a solo hand for Sydney, belting almost half the runs in his unbeaten knock of 61. In the slots, and hit away. Are these the winning runs? I think they are. It's going to get to the boundary. Michael Lum has played a little ripper here tonight. They get home with one over remaining The 6ers must beat the ren gaids and hope the Thunder beat the Stars to have any hope of making the final four. Champion is heading back to the Rabbitohs after signing a two year deal with the club. Staff centre was forced to leave in 2010 after the club sign ed Greg Inglis, he spent the last two seasons playing with the Storm and the Titans, they'll be happy to have him back. We're bringing you up to date with some more breaking news now. There is an emergency warning just been issued for a fire in Victoria. There is a medium, fast moving grass fire in the chep stow area, it's travelling in a north-easterly direction. The fire is expected to impactst Beau Forte and station Lane intersection immediately. That grass fire is approximately 50 km in size and it is out of control. We'll get more on that situation there in Victoria coming up very shortly. Right now let's look at some of the other weather forecasts. Cloud over WA and the Top End near a trough and deepening low is causing showers and storms mainly in the tropic s. Cloud is bringing showers to Tasmania, a few spots to Victoria but little elsewhere. There's a showery cloud on the tropical Queensland coast. A tropical cyclone may bring rain and heavy winds to WA. A trough will bring a cool southerly change to eastern NSW. North-westerly winds a head of the trough will bring heat to eastern Queensland. Looking a head to tomorrow now, in the north: We are now standing by to bring you the latest briefing from ACT fire authorities. That's coming up here on News Day live shortly. You're with News Day on Sky News. I'm Ashleigh Gillon. Coming up in our next half hour, we're standing by to take you live to a briefing with ACT fire authorities on the weather conditions and bushfires under way in the Territory at the moment. We'll take you there live as soon as it gets under way. First Vanessa Trezise will get you under way with the top storieses. Major fires are threatening homes in NSW with up to 90% of the state in severe danger. And conditions deemed catastrophic in some areas. More than 130 fires are burning across the state, around 40 of which remain uncontained. There are currently 7 emergency warnings issued for the state. That's gone up in the past hour. There is a catastrophic fire danger for the Illawarra, Shoalhaven, southern ranges, northern Riverina, eastern Riverina and parts of the lower central west plains. All state forest and national parks have been closed as a precaution. And in Tasmania there are currently no emergency warnings in place. Fires at bull bomb they seena, Forcett on the Tasman peninsula and another fire near Holwell have been downgraded to a watch and act. While fires have destroy ed 20,000 hectares across southern Tasmania since Friday. In Victoria there's currently one emergency warning in place for the state. That's a fast moving 50 hectare grass fire in the chep stow area that's out of control and at the moment it's travelling in a north-easterly direction. It's expected to impact the Beau frt and station intersection immediately. Meanwhile a slow moving 19,000 hectare bushfire in the state's south-west is still burning this hour. Fire crews are battling the blaze in the Kentbruck area. The communities of Drik Drik and dart maosh still remain under threat from this fire. It's been burning since Friday. Very dry north-westerly winds are creating these dangerous fire conditions. There will be some relief though. A southerly change on the way. It's surge moving through -- currently moving through NSW. It's heading up the coast expected to hit Sydney between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. Temperatures are expected to drop by up to 15 degrees as the change hits. And the weather tomorrow, very hot and humid in the east. A cooler change in the south-east, heating up in the south. Our top story this News Day and Australia is experienced another bushfire crisis with extreme conditions in three states. Shortly we're going to be taking you live to fire authorities in the ACT for an update on conditions in the Territory. In NSW, while residents there have been facing possibly the worst fire danger day in history, with catastrophic conditions in some regions. More than 140 fires are already burning across the state, at least 40 are uncontained. There are 7 emergency warnings now in place in NSW. They include leer y's Lane, west of Parkes. Deans gap near Shoalhaven, Warrigal Range Road in the Bega Valley. Mates gully at Tarcutta near Wagga Wagga. Yarrabin in the Cooma Monaro area. There is a total fire ban in new Swrales today. That has been extended until tomorrow. In Tasmania, firefighters have still been battling strong winds there as they try to contain dozens of fires. No emergency warnings are currently in place in Tasmania, but residents are being advised to stay vigilant. There is an emergency warning also in place in Victoria. A mead, fast moving grass fire in the chep stow area. That grass fire is around 50 hectares in size and that is out of control. There are also total fire bans in the ACT. Some crews have been deployed to Cooma to help extinguish a fire there. We'll get more no doubt shortly on that from ACT fire authorities when we take you live to their briefing expected to get under way any minute now. We do have reporters positioned around the country bringing us developments on these fire fronts as they come to hand. Let's take you live now to RFS headquarters in Sydney. Luke Doherty joins us from there. Luke, which fires are now causing firefighters most concern? Obviously a number of emergency warnings in place right now. Huge number of emergency warnings place right now, Ashleigh. Gasp to you. The one that's causing the most concerns at the moment is the Deans gap area. That is in the Shoalhaven region, one of six areas classified as having a catastrophic fire danger in NSW today. Three others were added to that list in the last hour. They are the eastern and northern Riverina and parts of the central west plains, that adds to the Illawarra Shoalhaven and southern ranges region. On that Deans gap fire, really the area of concern they're looking at is Sussex Inlet. It's a huge holiday place as well. Being summer there are a lot of holiday goers there. It's heading towards Sussex Inlet. Mained radio 92 between Nowra and Canberra has been cut and residents are now being urged to stay and shelter as the time to leave has past. Residents can go to the Sussex Inlet RSL or the Sussex Inlet bowling club. In the last half hour here on Sky News we brought you an interview with the mayor of Sussex Inlet, Joanna Gash. They're certainly start to go pick up. The fire we thought was under control at Deans GAP has broken out again. It's taken 15 heck tirs tears from the five to six hectares this morning. We've had road closures everywhere, got the Princes Highway cut in two locations. Main Road 92 which is the new road between Nowra and Canberra has also been cut. An update on the fire at Tarcutta. The bushfire is currently impact thing the Tarcutta. Residents are being advised to stay and shelter. That is too late to leave as well. The Hume Highway is closed in that region also. An update on the Cooma region, Kybeyan Valley area, around 2,000 hectares in size, burning in a south-easterly direction. That fire is expected to move towards dang Long Numeralla and the Brogo fire is burning out of control at the Warrigal Range Road at Brogo. People are advised to head to Bega. That is the latest on the bushfire situation in NSW as fire authorities battle it on many fronts. Appreciate the update, thank you. We are soon going to be take youing you to ACT fire authorities for an update on the situation in the Territory. Of course we've seen hot conditions and dangerous winds there as well. That's coming up very shortly. In the meantime just let you know, the Government lass today authorised the activation of the Australian Government disaster response plan. It's essentially providing access for the NSW Rural Fire Service to Australian Defence Force bases, fuel and personnel trained in specialist refuelling conditions. So it is going to help the RFS of course try to battle those bushfires across NSW. Of course those, a number of emergency warnings in place there. We've also been bringing you up to date on the situation in Victoria and Tasmania. Right now no emergency warnings current for Tasmania, but that doesn't mean that firefighters there have had much relief today. They're still battling a number of fires there. The heat of course that has been experienced in a number of states today really has been quite relentless. We know that across NSW a number of parts of that state, certainly suffering temperatures reaching into the 40s today. There has been a cooler change starting to move through some areas that is going to continue hitting other parts of the state throughout the evening. We will keep you up to date with those weather conditions, all important today of course as we follow these bushfires throughout the country. We'll bring you the latest on those weather conditions a little later in the bulletin as we get them. As I mentioned it is a total fire ban today in NSW and also in the ACT that has been extended through to tomorrow. Obviously now not the time for anybody to be lighting fires unnecessary fires at this point with the conditions as they are. We have been warned that essentially this is a cocktail of a perfect storm in terms of those conditions that firefighters are having to battle today, strong winds making their job very difficult. The NSW RFS fire authorities did give us an update on the situation in that state just a little bit earlier today. While we wait for the ACT news conference to get under way let's just recap what some of the fieries in NSW had to say. We've still got many hours of hot dry difficult conditions ahead of us, right across different parts of NSW and of course those conditions are to extend well beyond night fall with relief not expected to be across much of the northern areas of extreme fire danger like Sydney until well after midnight. Again, people need to be alert, they need to keep informed, they need to watch the TV, listen to radio, monitor the web site, engage with social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter. Being alert, being informed, taking decisive action interlight of the fire risk today and heeding the warnings of fires as they develop and spread across these areas. The latest briefing from the RFS headquarters ruffle half an hour ago. Let's get an update now on Victoria and the situation in the state. Actually I'm just being told we'll take you live now to the ACT and the latest update on the fire conditions in the state. Ladies and gentlemen, thanks very much for coming this afternoon. We have for you four people to update you on the situation here in the ACT of our activities for today and what we ex pect to occur in the near future. First off we have ACT Rural Fire Service chief officer Andrew Stark who will be followed by David Foote who is the chief officer of the ambulance service, Jeremy Logan, and Ken BAT from the Bureau of Meteorology who'll cover off on the weather today and what we're expecting in the foreseeable future. So first Andrew Stark. Good afternoon, so here in the ACT today we've had a very hot windy day. Whilst we've had a very busy day we've had quite a good outcome considering the weather conditions in that all fires that have broken out across the ACT have been quickly dealt with. The largest fire only getting out to 500m by 100m so that's a result interno threat to life or property in the ACT throughout today's weather e vent to this time. It's still only 4:30 in the afternoon and there's still a number of hours before the effects of this weak change will have its affect. There's still a potential for fires to occur right through this evening, certainly at this point in time it's been a positive result and as a result of a lot of hard work by firefighters right across the ACT. We've currently putting together a strike team to assist in the neighbouring area of NSW in the southern ranges. That will only be a small deployment at this stage of a group of five vehicles and a commander. We're reviewing the conditions and our capability and we may supply further resources and we'll make those decisions in the coming hours. That will be, first deployment will be to assist in a fire in the crookwell area. Further information is that regardless of a conditions becoming more milder tomorrow, back to only very high fire danger, we'll be declaring a title fire ban in the ACT as NSW will be declaring a total fire ban right across NSW in relation to the operational activity and we'll be supporting them and continuing to monitor the conditions of all the fires surrounding the ACT and offering assistance where we can. Any questions? There was a number of grass fires today that came through... surrounding suburbs. Do you have any indication was that any arson activity? And also the thunderstorms forecast for tonight, what's the risk with lightning strikes that there could be some flare-ups tonight? Certainly we're seeing some storms build up at this time. We're monitoring them on our raidars, also our lightning systems. There have been a range of incidents that have been caused by clashing power lines in winds but certainly police have interviewed some minors in relation to some fires that were lit in the urban area of Kay lien, further questions about those fires can be directed to ACT policing. Is it more kids doing the wrong thing or is there malicious intent? In relation to the specific fires at Kay lien you would have to talk to ACT policing in relation to the intent or otherwise of those children who were caught involved in those fires there. But that's the only malicious or arson activity these been detected in the ACT this time. It's still only 4:30, I guess early days. What are we expecting over the next couple of hours in terms of threats and how concerned are you? So what we're seeing is a weak southerly change. It's moving up the coast and it's reached about Bega at this stage. Or neighbour as far as Bateman's Bay but it's very slow as it comes over the ranges. So we start to see some effects right down the southern part of the ACT but it will move very slowly. With that change we get the combination of winds from two directions which often involves, results in much higher winds just at that point of the chain. So we're monitoring the conditions very carefully. If we had active large fires at this time, we'd really be quite concerned about the welfare of our firefighters with these kinds of wind changes, because we don't have any large active fires we'll be monitoring the conditions. There was quite a big build-up to today, but as you said the biggest fire has only been a couple of hundred metres. Are you happy, or are we not quite through it yet? This is certainly the best we could possibly hope for. These are the most dangerous fire conditions we've seen for some years. The problem is today's change is very dry and weak and unfortunately will just go into another weather cycle. While we might see some milder temperatures over Wednesday and Thursday we're will be looking carefully at fwrd and Saturday and the potential foyer a day very similar to today to reoccur on Saturday is very high. We're not turning our back on the weather conditions at all. This is our first taste. We've been very important fortunate. We'll continue to work on what we're doing. It will be a baysy couple of days with assisting NSW with the fires they have but it will be all hands on deck again for the weekend. Is there still potential for fires in the Mudgee to flare up. No, no, we've been monitoring them closely. Our fire towers have been actively looking in those areas and we've demron over it with helicopters and number of times today, there have been no active fires at this time. As the southerly change moves through there's still potential. At this stage I'm pleased with all the hard work that crews have done in that area over the last 72 hours. We've had more incidents hereby in the ACT, what about the fires that are surrounding the region, crookwell, down in Cooma, is there a potential that they could spread towards the Territory? No, none of those fires in any way could come and threaten the life or property of people in Canberra. The Cooma fire is moving, under these westerly winds right up into the escarpment above Bega. The crookwell fire s are to the east of us. The large fires at Tarcutta surrounding us they're a long way away. There's no potential threat to Canberra fwl those fires but certainly the potential for lightning right across the human the area with these storms. We could see further risk. Tilt there's no risk to the ACT from any fire outside of it. These grass fires flaring up at Tuggeranong, how are they being tackled, is it the public playing a part in this? Absolutely, we had excellent responses. We had 000 calls with very good information from the public so we were able to get our fire trucks in the area to those fires very quickly. We also had a light helicopter with our air attack special ist above Canberra all day. He would fly to those locations and confirm the fires and give the crews on the ground extra information to access them. It's very hot and dusty out there. We've seen a lot of dust stirred up. It's been hazy. It's been a challenges for our fire operators. Every fire has been reported by the community. We've been able to get resources there very quickly. Can you tell us the resources you've got helping out in the NSW fires. At this time we're just sending a strike team which will be a combination of our heavy tankers, some light tankers and a commander that will go with those, it will be five vehicles and up to about 24 personnel. They'll work from this evening when they get there through till late at night and return. They've requested a second team. We'll see how the weather and fire activity develops over the next hour. This is for the crookwell area. We're also considering a request for some additional incident management personnel to assist with the fires at Cooma. We'll make that decision in the coming hours. Are you expecting the... Yeah, certainly, at this stage the bureau are projecting a forecast for Saturday that's going to show another day with very high 30 degree temperatures, winds similar to today with a late southerly change at the end of the day. Almost a carbon copy of today's conditions, which will be a challenge for us but will be particularly challenging for all the fires in the surrounding areas. I guess if we hadn't got on top of those grassfires straightaway. Look, bushfires are dangerous. They occur right across Australia every day. We've seen tragedy in Tasmania over the last week. The potential for bushfires is very high when we have days like today. There's a high risk to the community. We do everything we can before a fire starts and we work as hard as we possibly can with the compact of our paid firefighters and our voluntaries right across when these fires break out. But under these conditions the flames are two and three storeys high at the tree tops, they move at 6, 7, 8 km/h. Embers can go for 6, 7, 8, 9 km in front of that fire front. It can become very dangerous for fire fighters. We've been fortunate we've been able to keep all those fires small and reduce those risks. Did you say there was a total -- a total fire ban will continue for the next few days? That's correct, the total fire ban will continue tomorrow. That's based not on the weather, but more on the fires surrounding the ACT which will allow us to assist with NSW and with the state wide fire ban in NSW, allows us to help the community understand the consistent message and understand what they can do right across NSW and ACT together. No other questions? Thank you. Thank you Andrew. In addition to that with resources interstate, on top of what Andrew referred to, we also have ACT fire and rescue have an urban fire pumper and a water tanker and a complander that went to Cooma earlier this afternoon as part of a NSW fire and rescue task force that's been deployed down there. Now we move to the health impacts on the community today from this hot weather and David, the -- David Foote the chief officer of the ACT balance service. Good afternoon, as you're probably aware, messaging out to the ACT community about the precautions to be taken with the weather we're currently experiencing in the Territory began mid last week through the ACT chief health officer. Those messages have remained consistent both from health and from the ACT ambulance service and that is for people to be very aware of the heat we're experiencing at the moment and the impact that can have on the elderly and especially the young in our community. Since 7 o'clock this morning we've attended 19 cases of heat related case. Out of those 19, 15 of those patients have been transported to accident and emergency centres either at the Canberra hospital or at call vary hospital in bell connen. The age group ranges between 14 years of age to 90 years of age. So the message once again remains very, very clear to the community, is whilst we're experiencing those conditions, is be sensible, dress appropriately, try and avoid that strenuous activity outside, if you don't need to be doing it. Look after the kids and especially look after the elderly who obviously don't have the same coping mechanisms that you and I would have in the sort of heat temperatures that we're experiencing at the moment. I think there was a release that went out before, these 19 health incidents, do you expect more in the coming days, will it get worse as this heat wave continues? I think the experience in Victoria when I experienced their heat wave conditions some years ago was quite phenomenal with the amount of people faked by the heat. What we're really confident is that we've adopted a really strong and proactivity strategy to getting that message out there to the community to take precautions in the sort of weather we're experiencing. We've attended 19 cases since 7 o'clock this morning to 3 o'clock this afternoon. 15 of those cases did require treatment in the accident and emergency centres 6 call vary or Canberra Hospital. If the weather continues and I've leave that to the bureau of metato update. If we head back into the really hot weather next Saturday, obviously the message remains unchanged to the Scomplunt. The ambulance service urging you to check on your neighbours. We heard from the RFS chief officer Andrew Stark providing some good news there is no threat to lives or homes in the Territory but authorities have cautioned the day is not over yet. We also heard that a strike team will soon be deployed to the crookwell area and crews have also been sent to Cooma to help their interstate colleagues. Potential lightning strikes developing on the ranges. A southerly exchange that's coming through NSW has reached Bega. So it's cooler. The sting in the tail is obviously the volatile winds for firefighters. A total fire ban will be in place in the ACT tomorrow, the same as NSW. Back to Ashleigh now with the latest weather. Looking towards tomorrow now, it is going to continue to be very hot and humid in the east. We'll see a cooler change in the south-east though. It's going to also be heating up in the south. Thank you for your company here on News Day today. Of the national news is next. 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