Two-week monster blaze finally being controlled

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Under control at last… Orroral Valley Fire at its peak. Photo: Judy Scorpecci.

A WEEK on from “emergency” level fears for homes and lives, and after ripping through 86,562 hectares of Namadgi National Park, the Orroral Valley Fire is finally being controlled by the ESA. 

The ACT Emergency Services Agency says the status of the blaze has moved this morning (February 8) from “out of control” to “being controlled”.

At its peak, the fire was described as the biggest threat to the ACT since the 2003 bushfire tragedy.

Local, interstate and overseas firefighters have worked relentlessly in dreadful conditions of high temperatures and winds for two weeks to protect surrounding villages and Canberra suburbs to get to this point.

The agency says the new status of the fire “means that effective strategies are being implemented and planned for the entire perimeter of the fire.”

“The burnt perimeter size within the ACT remains at approximately 134 kilometres; 60 kilometres has been successfully extinguished, leaving 74 kilometres of active fire edge.

“There is still active fire in the area and residents need to remain vigilant.”

The ESA says milder weather and an increase in humidity are assisting in fire suppression efforts and that specialised teams are assessing roads and road closures as a priority, to re-open once deemed safe.

The Orroral Valley Fire remains at “advice” level bushfire warning.

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  1. Probably the wrong time to say this, but the loss of so much of this high country old growth forest park so close to Canberra is a real and possibly permanent loss . Most of the terrain that was coloured green (ie., forest) in the RFS map of Namadgi has been burnt. It will take decades to recover – if , given reduced rainfall and higher temperatures under climate change, it ever completely does. I doubt if it will . The protection of houses and farm property is to be welcomed and applauded. But let us not be misled into thinking that what has been lost in the Orroral Fire and subsequent spinoff fires is of no value . We have lost natural assets of great value . Tony Kevin

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