Aged care provider IRT has placed staff on high alert and asked them to keep residents in air conditioned environments tomorrow when extreme heat is expected to blast the Illawarra and Shoalhaven.
The forecast conditions amount to a fire danger rating of catastrophic, according to the NSW Rural Fire Service.
IRT chief operating officer Craig Hamer said evacuation plans were in place at all the group’s centres and and would be activated on the advice of the State Emergency Service.
‘‘We are obviously on high alert but we will see what the day brings tomorrow,’’ Mr Hamer said.
NSW Police are targeting known and suspected arsonists as part of efforts to reduce the likelihood of a fire.
In the Shoalhaven command, police were keeping tabs on several suspected arsonists.
Inspector John Behrendt said police were in the midst of contacting all caravan parks and camping grounds in the Shoalhaven, and advising of the catastrophic rating.
‘‘Police are encouraging caravan parks in remote areas to strongly consider whether residents should absent themselves for at least 24 hours,’’ he said.
‘‘This is only a precautionary early warning because o the unusually dangerous weather and fire conditions. Please consider your options seriously. If a fire event occurs it may become a struggle to get out of the area.’’
All state forests and all NSW national parks will be closed tomorrow, including the Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area, Dharawal, the Royal National Park and Budderoo National Park.
Wollongong City Council will close the Southern Gateway Centre, Mt Keira Summit Park and the Sublime Point Lookout tomorrow as a precaution.
Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk will also be closed.