ACT Emergency Services Commissioner Georgeina Whelan has declared a Total Fire Ban for the whole of the ACT under Section 114 of the Emergencies Act 2004 for the duration of Thursday 19 December, Friday 20 December and Saturday 21 December 2019.
The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting hot, very dry and moderately windy conditions with predicted temperatures of up to 42 degrees.
A smoke haze is likely to remain in the region for the coming days due to fire activity in NSW. Smoke will increase and reduce in the ACT as wind direction changes. For information about fires in the ACT visit esa.act.gov.au or download the NSW Fires Near Me app.
The forecast Fire Danger Rating for the coming days will reach SEVERE. This means if a fire starts it may be uncontrollable and move quickly.
Residents are urged to:
> review their Bushfire Survival Plan and know what they will do if threatened by a fire; and
> to stay up to date via esa.act.gov.au, the ESA Twitter and Facebook accounts, local media outlets or by calling Access Canberra on 13 22 81.
ACT Parks and Conservation today announced extra park and reserve closures to ensure community safety and wellbeing during Total Fire Ban. For information on any closures or restrictions visit environment.act.gov.au
During a total fire ban, it is an offence for a person to:
- Light, maintain or use a fire in the open air;
- Use fireworks in the open air;
- Undertake a high risk activity. These are activities which may cause fire to ignite, and include welding, grinding, soldering and gas cutting; and
- Use of slashers and harvesting machinery in rural areas.
If it is necessary to undertake these activities on a total fire ban, you must first apply for a fire permit from the ESA. Strict penalties apply to persons who undertake any of these activities without a fire permit.
Persons are asked to remain extremely vigilant at all times on days of total fire bans with the activities in which they undertake. You should take extreme caution while driving or parking vehicles through long open grassed areas, mowing yards, or visiting remote wilderness or forested areas of the ACT.
If you see any careless or criminal activity relating to total fire bans, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. If you see a fire break out, call 000 immediately.