28 November 2019

Total fire ban declared as fire rages at Palerang

| Dominic Giannini
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The bush fire in the Tallaganda National Park has grown to cover over 1150 hectares and is burning on multiple fronts. Photo: Supplied.

The ACT will be under its third total fire ban of the month between midnight tonight and midnight Friday as the Fire Danger Rating is set to reach severe.

Dry conditions with a top of 34 degrees on Friday has led ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) Commissioner Georgeina Whelan to declare the Territory-wide ban, as any fire started may be uncontrollable and move quickly.

West of Braidwood, the Rural Fire Service has issued a ‘watch and act’ alert for the North Black Range, Palerang fire, which is out of control.

The bush fire in the Tallaganda National Park has grown to cover over 1150 hectares and is burning on multiple fronts.

The fire is burning towards Forbes Creek, Hoskinstown, Muloons Creek and Bombay as firefighters and aircraft are working to slow the spread and notify residents in the area.

The fire has been burning since Tuesday, started by a dry lightning strike. The fire was reportedly first spotted by an aircraft passenger who told authorities.

The area is notoriously rugged, making the fire hard to access and fight.

The ACT ESA says there are no fires burning in the ACT and although large plumes of smoke can be seen from NSW fires, no threat is posed to the ACT.

Under a total fire ban, it is an offence to light, maintain or use a fire in the open air, use fireworks in the open air, or undertake a high-risk activity which may cause a fire to ignite including welding, grinding, soldering and gas cutting.

The use of slashers and harvesting machinery in rural areas is also prohibited.

Strict penalties apply to persons who undertake any of these activities without a fire permit.

Public reserves, camping grounds, forests and other remotes areas may also be closed during a total fire ban, with a full list available on the ACT Parks and Conservation website.

If you are in a bushfire prone area, the ESA is urging you to review your bushfire survival plans or to quickly create one if you don’t already have one in place.

To find out more about Total Fire Bans, including any closures or restrictions visit esa.act.gov.au or call Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

Residents can monitor fires in NSW and the ACT via the NSW Fires Near Me app.

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