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