A TOTAL Fire Ban has been declared for the whole of the ACT with tomorrow’s fire danger rated at ‘severe’ due to extremely hot and windy weather.
The Bureau of Meteorology forecasts a maximum temperature around 40 degrees with light winds, freshening through the day.
The Total Fire Ban is in place for 24 hours from midnight tonight (12.00am, Thursday, January 16).
If a fire starts tomorrow at the ‘severe’ danger level, it may be uncontrollable and move quickly with flames possibly reaching higher than roof tops, according to a statement from emergency services.
“Expect embers to be blown around,” the statement says. “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 Emergency Services Agency (ESA) advises Canberrans to monitor the situation for any changes through local ACT media outlets, the ESA website esa.act.gov.au, the ESA Twitter and Facebook accounts, or by calling Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.
Various nature reserves and outlying roads will be closed tomorrow due to the risk, including Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and several roads inside Namadgi National Park. The Tidbinbilla and Namadgi Visitor Centres will both remain open.
Apollo Road, Orroral Road, Old Mill Road, Warks Road, Mount Franklin Road at Piccadilly Circus and the Corin Dam Road will all be closed, and so will Googong Foreshores, Kowen Forest, the Lower Molonglo River Corridor, the Mulligans Flat Woodlands Sanctuary and the Centenary Trail between Hall and Mulligans Flat.
For details on nature reserves and road closures as a result of the total fire ban in the ACT, visit tams.act.gov.au.