Canberra fire under control, still seven kilometres from suburb as more helicopters called


November 04, 2018 09:28:12

A bushfire near Canberra was still seven kilometres from the nearest suburb of Kambah on Sunday morning, with firefighters managing to control the blaze but ramping up efforts to extinguish it.

The fire, which sparked from a burnt-out car south-east of the ACT on Thursday night, was 204 hectares at 9:00am and remained at “advice” level.

Weather conditions had eased since they were at their worst on Friday, when the heat, dryness and strong winds made work tough for firefighters battling the fast-moving, erratic flames.

But the situation improved when a thunderstorm brought favourable conditions late on Friday, allowing crews to more safely make containment lines and control the fire.

Favourable conditions continued overnight on Saturday, when more than 10 ACT Rural Fire Service crews mopping up hot spots from the ground, with surveillance in the sky.

The Emergency Services Agency ACT said bulldozers removed hazardous trees and strengthening tracks.

Frontline draws on more sky support

An extra two helicopters have been called up on as crews ramp up efforts to extinguish the fire in the coming days.

An ESA spokeswoman said more than 13 crews will keep working in steep areas on Sunday with the support of two Remote Area Firefighting Teams, seven helicopters, three bulldozers and an excavator.

The fire danger in the ACT will again be “very high” on Sunday, she said, with westerly winds expected to calm later in the day.

Milder conditions on the fire-ground forecast by the Bureau of Meteeorology were expected to help crews strengthen containment lines.

With winds continuing to drift smoke from the fire over the coming days, authorities urged people with asthma or other breathing problems not to exercise heavily and stay inside if affected by dust or smoke.

The ESA ACT said road closures will remain in place for at least today and tomorrow. These include Paddy’s River Road from the Cotter Road picnic area, Tidbinbilla Road at Corin Dam Road and Kambah Pool Road, from Kambah Pool to Mount Vernon Drive.

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Kambah Pool, Camp Cottermouth, Bullen Range Nature Reserve and Pierces Creek Forest will also be closed, it reported.









First posted

November 04, 2018 09:27:00

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