ACT community urged to remain vigilant

There are currently NO fires burning in the ACT.

The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) is urging Canberrans to be vigilant to ensure no fires are unintentionally ignited while a TOTAL FIRE BAN is in place today and tomorrow.

The forecast Fire Danger Rating for the ACT today is SEVERE and tomorrow will be EXTREME.

Tomorrow, the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting hot westerly winds between 30 and 45 kilometres per hour from the late morning with gusts up to 65 kilometres per hour.

If a fire starts tomorrow at the EXTREME rating, it may be uncontrollable, unpredictable and fast moving flames will be higher than roof tops.

The use of power tools and outdoor machinery that can create a spark, such as angle grinders and lawn mowers, should be avoided.

Gas and electric BBQ's can be used but only if the immediate area around the BBQ is clear of any flammable material, there is a steady water supply available and a responsible adult is present.

Motorists are strongly urged to avoid pulling over on roadside areas where there is long grass. A hot exhaust can easily ignite a fire during today's conditions. Smokers must also dispose of their cigarette butts inside their vehicles. Failing to do so is a criminal offence and can lead to significant penalties.

Anyone who comes across a fire or smoke without the presence of firefighters should immediately ring Emergency Triple Zero (000).

The ACT State Emergency Service (ACTSES) is urging residents to ensure they tie down or put away any loose items including outdoor furniture and children's toys to avoid strong winds turning them into dangerous projectiles.

The community should keep informed throughout the day and monitor the situation for any changes, if a fire starts.

You can do this through local ACT media outlets, the ESA website, the ESA Twitter and Facebook accounts or by calling Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.