22 January 2020

UPDATE: Pialligo bushfire remains at advice

| Dominic Giannini
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Helicopters water-bombing the Pialligo fire. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

UPDATE 8:50 pm: The fire remains at advice level.

The Pialligo Redwood Forest fire is being controlled and is 147 hectares in size.

Firefighters are now working on the containment of the fireground and property protection, while ACT State Emergency Service (ACTSES) members will be door-knocking homes in the Oaks Estate area tonight.

The following roads will remain closed whilst emergency services are on scene or until further notice:

  • Pialligo Avenue from Scherger Drive to Oaks Estate Road,
  • Railway Road at Oaks Estate,
  • Railway Street at Norse Road,
  • and the Queanbeyan Railway Line is also closed.

Firefighters were supported by six aerial assets that water-bombed the fire and provided aerial surveillance, working together with 43 appliances from six services across the ACT and NSW, the ESA said.

UPDATE 7:15 pm: The fire has been downgraded to advice level.

No properties are under threat at this time, the ESA says. The fire is currently 141 hectares and is being controlled.

UPDATE 6:10 pm: The bushfire has been downgraded to watch and act level.

People in Beard, Oaks Estate and West Queanbeyan (Crestwood) could be still be affected by the bushfire in the Pialligo Redwood Forest.

The fire is travelling in an easterly direction towards Railway Street and Oaks Estate Road. The Queanbeyan Railway Line has been closed.

Railway Road at Oaks Estate and Railway Street at Norse Road are closed.

Police are diverting traffic away from the area. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

The ESA is warning that the situation could get worse.

The fire remains out of control.

The Pialligo fire. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

UPDATE 5:50 pm: The ESA has issued an EMERGENCY WARNING level warning for Beard, Oaks Estate and West Queanbeyan. Seek shelter immediately.

The ESA has advised that it is now too late to leave. If you are not in the area, do not return. The fire may pose a threat to all lives directly in its path.

The fire is on Scherger Drive and Piallago Avenue near the airport and is moving fast.

People in streets north of Uriarra Road should LEAVE NOW towards David Campese Oval if safe to do so.

Fire crews may not be able to protect you and your property. Do not expect a firefighter at your door. You are advised to SEEK SHELTER NOW.

If you are in the affected area, the ESA advises you to:

  • Switch off the gas and air-conditioning
  • Close windows and doors, sealing the gaps under doors and screens with wet towels to keep smoke out of the house
  • Fill containers such as your bath, sinks, and buckets with water so you have access to drinking and firefighting water
  • Identify a safe spot to shelter in, which should be a place with more than one exit, away from windows and doors. The safest spot is the place that will keep you furthest away from the intense heat from the fire
  • Be aware of the location of the fire as it passes your house. Once the fire has passed, use your water supplies to put out spot fires
  • Listen to ABC Radio 666 AM.
  • If you are not currently in the affected area, do not enter the area. Current situation: The fire is travelling in an easterly direction towards Beard, Oaks Estate and West Queanbeyan. The fire is out of control. Firefighters are on scene. However, under current conditions, the fire is difficult to control.

UPDATE 5:30 pm: People in Beard, Oaks Estate and West Queanbeyan are in danger and need to seek immediate shelter as the fire approaches. Driving now is extremely dangerous and potentially deadly.

People in the streets north of Uriarra Road should leave now towards David Campese Oval only if it is safe to do so.

The fire is currently over 90 hectares in size and out of control.

Motorists are being urged to avoid the area as roads are being closed. Multiple ACT Fire and Rescue and ACT Rural Fire Service crews, as well as NSW fire units, are responding. The fire is also being water-bombed.

Water-bombing choppers are attacking the fire. Photo: Region Media

Pialligo Avenue is closed from Scherger Drive to Oaks Estate Road. The fire is travelling in an easterly direction towards Oaks Estate Road.

Under current weather conditions, the fire may become difficult to control. People in the area may be affected by smoke, which could also reduce visibility and air quality.

The Emergency Services Agency (ESA) says people in Pialligo, Brindabella Park, Beard, Oaks Estate and surrounding areas could be affected by the fire as conditions could get worse.

The fire is at a Watch and Act level and the ESA has told residents to keep up to date and decide what actions they will take as bushfire conditions are constantly changing.

Call Triple Zero (000) immediately if you or your property is under threat.

More information to come.

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