23 January 2020

No active flame at Pialligo Redwood Forest but ESA remains on high alert

| Dominic Giannini
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Bushfire at Pialligo yesterday.

The Pialligo fire yesterday. Photo: Michelle Kroll, Region Media.

This story has been superceded. The latest update is available here.

The ESA has reported that there is no active flame at the Pialligo Redwood Forest after a fire broke out yesterday afternoon (22 January) and escalated to emergency level as it burned towards Beard, Oaks Estate and West Queanbeyan.

A water-bombing helicopter and five trucks remain on scene patrolling the area and putting out spot fires and flare-ups. More crews will arrive throughout the day and will be supported by the Firebird 100 surveillance helicopter.

ESA Commissioner Georgeina Whelan said 40 crews were on the scene within half an hour of the first call being made. At 9:00 am this morning, 17 crews will be on scene she said.

The fire came within 424 metres of the urban edge of Oaks Estate, the ESA said. At this stage, the ESA is not expecting any properties to be under threat today.

The ESA believes that the fire was unintentional; however, they are continuing to investigate its origins.

Oaks Estate Road remains closed but other roads have been reopened in the area as the fire remains at advice level.

With a total fire ban in place across the ACT today, and a severe weather warning being issued by the Bureau of Meteorology for damaging winds, crews are on high-alert for any fire activity that may spread quickly under current conditions.

Canberra is being told to brace for winds averaging 60 to 70 km/h with peak gusts reaching 90 km/h. The State Emergency Service (SES) is telling residents to move their cars away from trees and secure loose items around their house, yard and balcony.

BOM weather warning

A severe weather warning has been issued. Photo: Bureau of Meteorology.

To report fallen power lines contact Ausgrid (131 388), Endeavour Energy (131 003), Essential Energy (132 080) or Evoenergy (131 093).

For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500.

To keep up-to-date with fire activity and warnings, visit www.esa.act.gov.au or keep an eye on their Twitter and Facebook pages.

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