Entire region in extreme fire danger as blaze near Tarago roars on

Charlotte 18 January 2017
The fire near Tarago yesterday. Photo: NSW RFS

The ACT and surrounding region with the exception of the Snowy Mountains area face a total fire ban today, on the anniversary of the 2003 Canberra firestorm, with the entire Southern Ranges area deemed to be in extreme fire danger as a blaze continues to burn out of control near Tarago.

The Southern Ranges include the Goulburn Mulwaree, Queanbeyan-Palerang, Upper Lachlan and Yass Valley shires.

People who have chosen to relocate due to the Tarago fire should contact Queanbeyan Police Station on 6298 0558 to register. Residents seeking to relocate horses from the area are advised to take them to the Goulburn Showground.

At 10am, there were 21 bush and grass fires burning across NSW, seven of them uncontained, with a total fire bans in 6 areas. Around 400 firefighters were in the field.

NSW region fire danger map. Source: NSW RFS

The bush and grass fire near Tarago is burning in the Boro and Mount Fairy area. The fire, pictured at top yesterday, is currently 3290 hectares in size and has burnt the vicinity of Taylors Creek Road, Bungendore Rd and Mount Fairy Road.

Firefighters have worked hard through the night to hold the fire to the western side of Goulburn Rd between Boro Road and Barnet Drive.

Crews took advantage of more favourable conditions overnight to work on strengthening containment lines. Firefighters will continue to work on that this morning with the assistance of aircraft ahead of challenging hot, dry and windy conditions later today.

Tarago Road and the Goulburn Roads remain closed to traffic.

The Goulburn-Queanbeyan Railway is closed.

Residents in the vicinity of Mount Fairy and Boro areas including Mount Fairy Road, Goulburn Road, Boro and Lower Boro Roads should continue to monitor the situation and follow the directions of firefighters on the ground.

Be prepared to implement your bushfire survival plan. If you do not have a Bush Fire Survival Plan, know what you will do if the fire threatens your property. Well-prepared and actively defended homes can offer safety during the fire.

Meanwhile, ACT Emergency Services Agency Commissioner Dominic Lane has declared a Total Fire Ban for the whole of the ACT under Section 114 of the Emergencies Act 2004 from midnight last night till midnight tonight.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting a maximum temperature today of 36 degrees.

The Forecast Fire Danger Rating (FDR) for today is predicted to be SEVERE.

If a fire starts at the forecast fire danger level of SEVERE it may be uncontrollable and move quickly. Flames may be higher than roof tops.

Expect embers to be blown around. Spot fires may occur up to 4 km ahead of the main fire.

There is a chance people in the path of a fire may be injured or die. Some homes and businesses may be destroyed.

Leaving early is the safest option for your survival.

Well prepared and actively defended houses can offer safety during a fire.

The ESA advises you to make sure you know where you will get more information and monitor the situation for any changes. You can do this through local ACT media outlets, the ESA website www.esa.act.gov.au, the ESA Twitter and Facebook accounts or by calling Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

The following nature reserves and roads will be closed for the duration of the Total Fire Ban:

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, selected roads within Namadgi National Park including Apollo Road, Orroral Road, Old Mill Road, Warks Road, Mount Franklin Road and the Corin Dam Road, Googong Foreshores, Kowen Forest, Lower Molonglo River Corridor, Molonglo Gorge Nature Reserve, Mulligans Flat Woodlands Sanctuary and the Centenary Trail between Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve and Hall.

The Boboyan Road and Brindabella Road remain open to through traffic.

The Tidbinbilla and Namadgi Visitors Centres will remain open.

Swimming areas at the Cotter and along the Murrumbidgee River such as Kambah Pool, Pine Island Point Hut and Uriarra Crossing will remain open.

Electric BBQs in Parks and Reserves including the National Arboretum Canberra and in Canberra’s urban parks will be available, however all gas barbeques will be turned off.

If a fire starts, the ESA advises you monitor the situation for any changes through the ACT Emergency Services Agency website www.esa.act.gov.au, the ESA Twitter and Facebook accounts, local ACT media outlets or by calling Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

To find out more about Total Fire Bans log on to the ACT Emergency Services Agency website www.esa.act.gov.au or call Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

Please do not reply to this email. For all enquiries call the ESA 24 hour media line on 6207 8564.

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