Australian capital city, Canberra, is in danger because of soaring temperatures and strong winds threatened to propel a large bushfire beyond the control of firefighters. As BBC reports, a state of emergency for Canberra and surrounding regions was declared on Friday.
The state of emergency will take place as long as Canberra is at risk, say the local authorities. That special state gives extra power and resources to fire authorities. Since the start of bushfire season, cruel fires in Australia have killed at least 33 people and destroyed thousands of homes across the country.
In Canberra’s vicinities, fires have raged for weeks. Last Thursday, Canberra’s international airport was shut down when a blaze threatened to breach its perimeter. According to Andrew Barr, Chief Minister for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the decision to declare the state of emergency signalled the potential danger over the weekend.
As the officials said an uncontrolled fire in the ACT’s south, on the doorstep of the capital city, had grown to 185 sq km, almost 8% of the territory’s landmass. Since September, more than 11 million hectares of land have been scorched across Australia.
“This fire may become very unpredictable. It may become uncontrollable,” Barr told journalists and warned that the combination of extreme heat, wind, and a dry landscape will place suburbs in Canberra’s south at risk.
Canberra: the state of emergency will run for 72 hours
As the officials said, the state of emergency declared on Friday will run for 72 hours, giving authorities greater powers to order evacuations, close roads and take control of the private property.
Since September, Australia has been battling bushfires across its east coast that have killed 33 people and an estimated 1 billion native animals. Over that period, around 2,500 homes have been destroyed as more than 11.7 million hectares have been razed.