Hot, windy conditions prompt Riverina fire ban

FORECAST hot and windy conditions have prompted the Rural Fire Service (RFS) to ban the lighting of fires across the entire Riverina tomorrow.

Much of the region is expected to experience severe to extreme fire danger, with a total fire ban in force for nine areas of the state from midnight tonight.

The Lower Central West Plains (severe fire danger), Southern Slopes (severe), Eastern Riverina (extreme), Southern Riverina (extreme) and Northern Riverina (severe) fire districts are included in the ban.  

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a very hot and sunny morning for the Riverina tomorrow, with areas of raised dust expected during the afternoon and evening. 

Winds will be northerly around 15 to 25 km/h increasing to 25 to 40 km/h in the morning. 

They will then increase to 45 km/h before shifting south to southwesterly 25 to 40 km/h in the afternoon.

Hay is expected to top 43 degrees tomorrow, Griffith should reach 42 and the mercury is predicted to hit 41 in Wagga. 

Elsewhere, Deniliquin should climb to 42 and a top of 40 is expected in Young. 

Under a total fire ban, no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended. 

Gas and electric barbecues may be used provided certain conditions are met.

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TOTAL FIRE BAN COUNCIL AREAS  

Lower Central West Plains: Bland, Dubbo, Forbes, Lachlan, Narromine, Parkes, Temora, Weddin and Wellington

Southern Slopes: Boorowa, Cootamundra, Gundagai, Harden, Tumbarumba, Tumut and Young

Eastern Riverina: Albury, Coolamon, Greater Hume, Junee, Lockhart and Wagga Wagga

Southern Riverina: Berrigan, Conargo, Corowa, Deniliquin, Jerilderie, Murray, Urana and Wakool

Northern Riverina: Carrathool, Griffith, Hay, Leeton, Murrumbidgee and Narrandera.

Total fire ban rules and a map of the areas affected can be found at: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au

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According to the RFS, under extreme fire danger conditions:

* Homes that are specially designed and constructed to withstand a bush fire, prepared to the highest level and actively defended, may provide safety.   

* Follow your Bush Fire Survival Plan and know when you will leave, where you will go and how you will get there. Know what you will do if you cannot leave.

* Leaving early in the day is your safest option.

* Keep informed.

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