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Total fire ban in place in ACT due to heat, dry conditions and wind

By Charlotte Harper 25 February 2016 8

ACT fire truck

A total fire ban is in place in the ACT till midnight tonight due to the high temperatures in the past few days, drying conditions and expected strong north-westerly winds.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting winds north to northwesterly 20 to 30 km/h tending west to northwesterly 25 to 35 km/h in the afternoon today. The temperature is expected to reach 38 degrees.

The Fire Danger Rating today is VERY HIGH.

While a Total Fire Ban is usually declared for forecast SEVERE FDR and above, the conditions here prompted the declaration of the total fire ban.

Several roads and nature reserves will be closed until the total fire ban ends (see end of story for full list).

According to Emergency Services, conditions today may reach the SEVERE level. 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.

Photo: RiotACT image library


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8 Responses to
Total fire ban in place in ACT due to heat, dry conditions and wind
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dungfungus 2:51 pm 29 Feb 16

Charlotte Harper said :

I guess with weather like last week’s it makes sense to keep a close eye on a site where there has been a fire in recent days.

Is that an apology for ESA because the reduction burn from memory was to be for 2 days.
Normally, the fire services extinguish fires they deliberately start as soon as the job is finished.

    Charlotte Harper 10:43 pm 29 Feb 16

    No, not an apology for ESA, just my interpretation. I can ring again and get a more detailed response if you like.

bobzed57 6:21 pm 26 Feb 16

Not bad going for the long, hot summer of ever increasing cataclysmic temperatures, only the first or second total fire ban for 15/16.

dungfungus 4:53 pm 26 Feb 16

Charlotte Harper said :

OK, so I checked with ESA media and the hazard burn you’re talking about commenced on Saturday, not yesterday, and remained in the system for watch, not because it was new.

Thanks for that Charlotte.
I was aware of that but why would they “watch” it for 5 days? I mean, its either a fire or it’s not.
The advice has since disappeared from the incidents map.

    Charlotte Harper 11:28 am 29 Feb 16

    I guess with weather like last week’s it makes sense to keep a close eye on a site where there has been a fire in recent days.

HenryBG 12:11 pm 26 Feb 16

dungfungus said :

The ESA Canberra incident map has reported a “hazard reduction burn” at Aranda”
I thought total fire ban meant just that.

I guess whatever they are burning is more hazardous than a SEVERE fire danger level.

Maybe my wife has been cooking again…?

dungfungus 1:54 pm 25 Feb 16

The ESA Canberra incident map has reported a “hazard reduction burn” at Aranda”
I thought total fire ban meant just that.

    Charlotte Harper 7:30 am 26 Feb 16

    OK, so I checked with ESA media and the hazard burn you’re talking about commenced on Saturday, not yesterday, and remained in the system for watch, not because it was new.

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