State of Emergency lifted for ACT, rural areas to remain on alert

As a result of successful fire-containment operations and more favourable weather conditions, the Territory-wide State of Emergency has been lifted. A State of Alert will remain in place for rural and remote parts of the Territory, with the Orroral Valley fire still active in the Namadgi National Park.

This decision is based on the advice of Commissioner Georgeina Whelan and her team, as well as the weather forecast for the days ahead and the current fire behaviour.

More favourable weather conditions will allow our Emergency Services agencies to work on managing this fire. Strong containment lines have been put in place to protect both Tharwa Village and the Lanyon Valley, and firefighters will remain on the fire ground.

Given the ongoing fire-fighting operations, Commissioner Whelan will continue as Emergency Controller to enable her to coordinate resources across Government.

This coordination, particularly over the past few days, has been outstanding.

Thousands of ACT Rural firefighters, as well as interstate and international personnel, have been fighting this fire throughout the week, both in the air and on the ground.

Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel have been supporting this work by building containment lines. We also had ACT Police officers coordinating road closures and knocking on doors in Canberra suburbs, and ACT Government staff setting up evacuation centres.

These agencies deserve the highest gratitude of our community.

We have seen throughout this summer that weather and fire conditions can be highly unpredictable. With the current size of the Orroral Valley fire at over 55,000 hectares, there remains a risk that this fire could again pose a significant threat to ACT lives and property and we may need to return to a State of Emergency if the situation requires it.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Mick Gentleman said that the fire will continue to burn through the Namadgi National Park.

“The fire has unfortunately burnt through close to 50% of the National Park, and this is likely to grow throughout the week. It is a significant ecological disaster for the Territory, and there will be ramifications that we will need to address in due course,” Minister Gentleman said.

“However, we are hugely thankful to our emergency services agencies, as well as those from interstate and overseas, who came to our aid over the past two days.”

“I know the community, particularly those in South Tuggeranong, have been appreciative of the level of support and information they have received as part of the State of Emergency. This is a credit to the Commissioner and her team who will continue to work on fighting this fire and protecting the ACT as the bushfire season continues.”

/Public Release. View in full here.