Walking through Canberra's city centre on Tuesday night, there was barely a hint it was the last day of the decade.
As smoke rolled in and the fires raged on the South Coast, Canberra's New Year's Eve celebrations took a reserved tone.
The traditional fireworks were cancelled when a total fire ban was announced on the weekend.
And on Tuesday afternoon Events ACT made the decision to cut the festivities in Canberra's city centre due to "unprecedented" extreme weather.
People who decided to head out on New Year's Eve understood the decision.
Jess and John Alexander were holidaying in Canberra with their two children.
They are from Bairnsdale, in East Gippsland, where fires have come far too close for comfort.
They left Bermagui on Monday before fires trapped residents and visitors on Tuesday.
"It's good just to be away from the fires," Mr Alexander said.
Kody Everingham of Ngunnawal said she understood and respected the decision to ditch the fireworks, but thought the live music should have gone ahead in some capacity.
But she, and others out on New Year's Eve, were angry at the political inaction around climate change.
They said the erratic weather and smoke choking the capital, while fires devastated the South Coast, as a constant reminder of the impact of a changing climate.
Events ACT executive branch manager Jo Verden said the planned entertainment at Civic Square wouldn't go ahead on Tuesday night as a result of the hot, windy and smoky conditions sweeping through the capital.
"The safety and comfort of the public, contractors, performers and staff is our main priority," she said.
"Today's dust and high winds on top of extreme heat, predicted thunderstorms and a heavy smoke haze from the South Coast fires, has led to us making this call."
Temperatures were forecast to reach 37 degrees on Tuesday, with winds of up to 50 kilometres per hour.
"Cancelling an event is always a difficult decision, however the current wind conditions and forecast weather outlook has made the decision clear," Ms Verden said.
"New Year's Eve should be a night of celebration and fun. With the current conditions, our event would be far from that for Canberrans."
The all-ages New Year's Eve event was scheduled to feature a range of performers from 6.30pm.
The ACT government has announced it will donate $10,000 to the Australian Red Cross Bushfire Disaster Appeal, which is supporting people impacted by bushfires burning across the country.
Tonight’s New Year’s Eve in the City event in Canberra has been cancelled due to unprecedented extreme and highly unpredictable weather conditions.— Andrew Barr MLA (@ABarrMLA) December 31, 2019
A deterioration today – with high wind gusts, heat, dust, smoke haze and likely thunderstorm – has led to the decision being made. pic.twitter.com/ws1JI7nuwe
"Canberrans will be watching the terrible fires in the surrounding area closely," Acting Chief Minister Yvette Berry said.
"For many, the South Coast is a home away from home in the summer months. Our thoughts are with all those who are being impacted by these fires, including the committed Rural Fire Service volunteers working to save lives and property in our region."
ACT Emergency Services Commissioner Georgeina Whelan described the "unusual" weather conditions, along with the bushfires raging across Victoria and New South Wales, as unprecedented.
"This has created significant uncertainty and we are cautioning the community to be well prepared for these extreme weather conditions," she said.
Acting ACT Chief Health Officer Paul Dugdale encouraged Canberrans to spend their New Year's Eve indoors.
"As people who are more sensitive to smoke should avoid being outdoors for long periods of time when there is a heavy haze around, if you are hosting celebrations, move your party inside so all guests can enjoy the occasion," Dr Dugdale said.
Dr Dugdale recommended partygoers drink water between every alcohol beverage to ensure they remain hydrated.
"It's also really important to keep track of how much alcohol and caffeine you're drinking - that includes energy drinks - as they can make you more dehydrated. Drinking too much alcohol can end your night early as well."