19 September 2023

Multiple schools across the South Coast closed due to bushfire risk

| Claire Sams
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The NSW RFS is facing several fires in south-east New South Wales on Monday evening. Photo: NSW RFS.

As the region braces for the upcoming fire season, a fire ban has been declared for parts of the South Coast and some schools are closing.

On Monday (18 September), a Total Fire Ban was put in place for today (19 September), covering the Far South Coast region and Greater Sydney Region.

A Total Fire Ban means there are no fires permitted out in the open, according to NSW Rural Fire Service’s (NSW RFS) website.

The Far South Coast is one of two areas to come under a fire ban on Tuesday. Photo: NSW Rural Fire Service/Facebook.

Additionally, Tuesday will see a Fire Danger Rating of ‘Extreme’ for the Far South Coast region, which covers the Local Government Areas of Bega Valley and Eurobodalla Shires.

Bega is set to reach 35 degrees Celsius today (19 September), while Moruya residents are set for a slightly cooler 34 degrees Celsius, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

READ ALSO Water wars: Did excessive irrigation contribute to killing 20 million fish in the Lower Darling?

In response to the Extreme Fire Danger Rating, more than twenty South Coast schools are closing temporarily on Tuesday.

A statement from the New South Wales Department of Education said that the schools were closing due to the bushfire risk.

“We encourage parents and carers to always follow the advice of Police and Emergency Services during periods of heightened bushfire risk,” the statement said.

The following schools are affected:

  • Batemans Bay Public School
  • Bega Valley Public School
  • Bemboka Public School
  • Bermagui Public School
  • Bodalla Public School
  • Bournda Environmental Education Centre
  • Broulee Public School
  • Candelo Public School
  • Central Tilba Public School
  • Cobargo Public School
  • Mogo Public School
  • Narooma High School
  • Pambula Public School
  • Quaama Public School
  • Sunshine Bay Public School
  • Tanja Public School
  • Tathra Public School
  • Towamba Public School
  • Wolumla Public School
  • Wyndham Public School

The statement said the decision was “in consultation” with NSW RFS.

Additionally, in statements to Facebook, St Mary’s Primary School in Moruya, Sapphire Coast Anglican College, Lumen Christi Catholic College in Pambula and Pambula Public School said on Monday evening that they would also be closing.

However, Batemans Bay High School, Moruya High School, St Peter’s Anglican College in Broulee and Eden Marine High School said they would remain open as of 8:30 pm on Monday.

Information on other schools can be found by contacting them.

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Tuesday’s Total Fire Ban comes amid a heatwave affecting swathes of south-east Australia.

Over the past weekend and into the middle of this week, some areas will see temperatures in the mid-to-high 20s, though a few are set to near or even pass 30 degrees Celsius.

As of Monday evening (18 September), no ban was issued for Thursday (20 September) in the Far South Coast region, but a Fire Danger Rating of High was declared.

Thursday (21 September) is expected to dip to a ‘Moderate’ fire risk.

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