ALL that can be done has been done to prepare for catastrophic fire conditions across NSW on Tuesday, NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons says.
A seven-day state of emergency has been declared for NSW from Monday to give emergency services the ability to call in any resources needed to help fight existing fires and new ones that may ignite.
Overnight NSW Rural Fire Service fire specialists put together indicative maps (see below) that show the potential for existing fires to spread predicted conditions.
READ MORE: NSW emergency over catastrophic bushfires
"We plan for these days but we hope they'll never happen," Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.
"We can expect pretty significant fires to break out ... whatever fires we get that start under those winds will burn very aggressively.
"We can expect to see very volatile conditions."
We can expect pretty significant fires to break out ... whatever fires we get that start under those winds will burn very aggressively.NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons.
Commissioner Fitzsimmons thanked the NSW community for its responsiveness so far and urged people to download the Fires Near Me app to stay up-to-date.
"Not being in a bushfire prone area is clearly the safest option, leaving early is the safest option," he said.
"We're not doing any evacuations yet."
Conditions will change during the day and Commissioner Fitzsimmons said weather would be the key driver for fire behaviour, with this afternoon's a southerly change a concern for firefighters' safety.
"As the front moves across the state you'll get a strengthening of winds ... delivering the hot, dry windy conditions," he said.
The Australian Defence Force has also provided specialist helicopters to assist emergency services during the day.
Commissioner Fitzsimmons said this bushfire danger period had already proved much more volatile than last year's season.
"Already one million hectares have already burnt this bushfire danger period, last we saw a total of 280,000 hectares," he said.
A NSW Ambulance spokesman said there would be significant smoke around many areas of the state today and he urged people to avoid going outdoors if possible.
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"If you must leave your place of residence then make sure to take all of your medication with you," he said.
"In the last few days we've seen an increase of calls related to respiratory conditions
"It can take relatively small amounts of smoke to trigger an asthma attack."
The NSW Police Force has issued a stern warning following unconfirmed reports on social media of stealing offences within bushfire-affected areas of NSW.
State Emergency Operations Controller (SEOCON), Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys, said it was deeply concerning to think that anyone would use the bushfire emergency to target vulnerable members of the community.
"These communities have suffered enough without individuals stealing what items they have left," he said.
"Local police numbers are being bolstered by the Public Order and Riot Squad, the Police Transport Command, and Traffic and Highway Patrol Command to ensure regular patrols are conducted throughout the bushfire affected areas.
"Any reports of looting or other criminal acts will be thoroughly investigated. If you choose to partake in this type of behaviour, you will face the full force of the law.
Download the Fires Near Me app to stay up-to-date.
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