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Total fire ban for ACT on firestorm anniversary

Total fire bans will be in place across the ACT and surrounding regions as firefighters prepare for deteriorating conditions on Friday.

Crews are expecting severe fire danger as the capital climbs towards a predicted top of 38 degrees with winds of up to 40km/hr.

The ban, declared by ACT Emergency Services Agency Commissioner Dominic Lane, hopes to avoid fires that could become uncontrollable in severe conditions. An alert said flames from a fire might be higher than roof tops.

Extreme to severe fire danger is also expected throughout the regions, as firefighters tackling fires near Yass and Cooma face down predicted highs of 39 and 37 degrees respectively.

The extreme heat coupled with gusty winds could be particularly challenging for crews, the Bureau of Meteorology’s assistant director of weather services Alasdair Hainsworth said.

“The late onset of the monsoon has allowed extremely hot air to build up in northern Australia,” he said.

“Fortunately, this weekend we’re going to finally see some cloud cover and rain getting into northern Australia, and will eventually flush out the hot air mass that has built up in the interior of the continent.”

Join us at tomorrow for all the latest on the 2003 firestorm anniversary, as Canberra commemorates one of its darkest days ten years on.