15 January 2019

ESA declares Total Fire Ban as temperatures soar

| Ian Bushnell
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Extreme heat wave conditions are expected all week.

ACT Emergency Services Agency Commissioner Dominic Lane has today declared a Total Fire Ban for the whole of the ACT, as a prolonged heat wave grips southern Australia.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting dry conditions today with a predicted temperature of 39 degrees.

The Total Fire Ban will be in place until midnight but with the mercury tipped to hit 40 tomorrow, 41 on Thursday and 40 on Friday, it could be in place all week until a cool change arrives on Saturday.

ACT Rural Fire Service Chief Officer Joe Murphy said on Monday (14 January) that the situation would be reviewed daily.

A Total Fire Ban has also been declared across the border in the Southern Slopes and Southern Ranges fire areas of NSW.

The Forecast Fire Danger Rating (FDR) for today remains at Very High. 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, and 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 barbecues in parks and reserves including the National Arboretum Canberra and in Canberra’s urban parks will be available, however, all gas barbecues will be turned off.

There are also restrictions on lighting fires or undertaking high-risk activities, such as welding or grinding, which may cause a fire to ignite.

For more information about a Total Fire Ban, click here.

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