4 December 2019

Total fire ban declared from Canberra to the coast

| David Murtagh
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Braidwood fire

Braidwood resident Jarrah Knowles captured this image of the bushfires near Braidwood this week. Photo: Jarrah Knowles.

A total fire ban has been declared across the ACT and the south-eastern NSW region from midnight tonight (Wednesday, 4 December) to midnight Thursday, 5 December.

ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) commissioner Georgeina Whelan declared the ban after forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology predicted dry and windy conditions to worsen.

The NSW RFS has also declared a total fire ban across most areas of eastern NSW, including Bega Valley, Eurobodalla Shire, Monaro-Alpine area, Queanbeyan-Palerang, and the Goulburn and Yass areas.

The forecast fire danger rating for tomorrow is predicted to be very high in the Territory with temperatures set to hit a maximum of 28 degrees with wind gusts reaching speeds of up to 75 km/h.

In the NSW regions under a total fire ban, the fire danger rating will be severe.

This means that any fire that starts could be uncontrollable and move quickly.

Fires continue to burn through the Tallaganda National Park, Bombay and Braidwood areas, as well in the Currowan area on the NSW south coast.

An ESA spokesperson told Region Media that 248 people have been deployed to fight fires near Braidwood since 25 November.

“About 200 of those are on-ground firefighters,” an ESA spokesperson said. “The ACT has also provided Incident Management Team personnel for day and night shifts.

“ESA has also been operating our airbase to support operations for the last week, involving about 20 personnel. Large air tankers and single-engine air tankers have been refilled with either water, gel or retardant.”

Personnel have been deployed from the ACTRFS, ACTSES, ACT Fire and Rescue, ACT Ambulance Service, ACT Parks and Conservation Service, and ESA support units.

ESA personnel will continue to support NSW until the end of the week before reassessing where resources are needed with weather conditions expected to deteriorate from Thursday.

ESA has sent 426 people to help combat fires across NSW, and up into Queensland as well, this bushfire season as of 30 November.

However, an ESA spokesperson told Region Media that the deployment of people across NSW and Queensland will not impact the level of fire protection in the ACT.

Residents in bushfire prone areas are urged to review their bushfire survival plan or if you don’t have a plan in place, to take the time to create one.

Territory residents are being urged by the ESA to keep up-to-date via their website esa.act.gov.au, the ESA Twitter and Facebook accounts, or by calling Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

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