SLOW START: Intense smoke covered the region this morning.
SLOW START: Intense smoke covered the region this morning.

Above average temps cause concern for fires

SOUTHERN Downs residents woke to another blanket of smoke today as bushfires remain a threat across the region.

The thick smoke was a result of numerous bushfires burning in northern New South Wales according to Bureau of Meteorology metrologist Laruen Pattie.

“There’s a lot of smoke around the Downs this morning, particularly in the south west and Granite Belt regions,” Ms Pattie said.

“There is a south easterly pushing through bringing smoke from fires burning in northern New South Wales.

“We expect that it will be smoky throughout the day however it will improve a little bit in the afternoon.

“We expect the smoke to continue for a number of days, depending on those fires.”

The smoke initially moved into the region overnight, when conditions were at their worst, said Ms Pattie.

As temperatures remain high records continue to fall across the Southern Downs.

“Temperatures are definitely well above average, some places on the south eastern downs were 10 – 11 degrees above average yesterday,” she said.

“It is still hot today and heading for mid-30s around the Southern Downs, some places will be 5 – 6 degrees above average.”

REDUCED VISIBILITY: Blanket of smoke hovers over the Southern Downs.
REDUCED VISIBILITY: Blanket of smoke hovers over the Southern Downs.

The high temperatures have brought heatwave conditions that Ms Pattie said the Bureau were closely monitoring.

“The heat warning is currently low intensity, with patches of severe intensity which we will see hanging around into next week,” she said.

“Temperatures aren’t expected to change over the coming days, with minimums remaining in the high teens.”

There is little reprieve for fire fighters, with the hot weather expected to remain.

“The only chance of any relief is the possibility of a little shower that is forecast for the end of the week,” she said.

“This is due to the surface trough that is moving across, but there isn’t a large amount of rain expected in that.

“There is a little bit of moisture returning to the east coast today, so it’s starting to get a bit stickier and humid again.”



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