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Canberra residents warned their lives are at risk from raging bushfire

‘Seek shelter now!’ Raging bushfire spanning 100 hectares burns out of control on the outskirts of Australia’s capital as locals are told their lives are in danger and it’s too late to leave

  • Bushfire threatening homes in Canberra and neighbouring Queanbeyan, NSW
  • Too late for anyone to leave Oaks Estate, Beard, and West Queanbeyan
  • Fire has burned about 100ha in Pialligo Redwood Forest near Canberra Airport

An out-of-control bushfire is hurtling towards homes in the outskirts of Canberra with residents warned their lives are at risk.

The fire has burned about 100ha in the Pialligo Redwood Forest on the border of the ACT and NSW, near Canberra Airport.

An emergency warning was issued at 5.39pm on Wednesday with anyone in Oaks Estate, Beard, and West Queanbeyan told it was too late to leave.

‘You may be in danger and need to take action immediately. Any delay now puts your life at risk,’ the ACT Emergency Services Agency said.

An out-of-control bushfire is hurtling towards homes in the outskirts of Canberra with residents warned their lives are at risk

An out-of-control bushfire is hurtling towards homes in the outskirts of Canberra with residents warned their lives are at risk

‘The fire may pose a threat to all lives directly in its path. People in these suburbs are in danger and need to seek immediate shelter as the fire approaches.’

Residents were warned to expect thick smoke and embers, which would reduce visibility and air quality.

‘As the fire approaches, it will be difficult for you to see, hear and breathe. You will experience intense heat, darkness and loud noise,’ it said.

The ESA warned driving in the affected suburbs was now extremely dangerous and potentially deadly.

They were better off seeking shelter inside their house and preparing for the fire to possibly strike their property. 

The fire has burned about 100ha in the Pialligo Redwood Forest on the border of the ACT and NSW, near Canberra Airport

The fire has burned about 100ha in the Pialligo Redwood Forest on the border of the ACT and NSW, near Canberra Airport

Residents were warned to expect thick smoke and embers, which would reduce visibility and air quality

Residents were warned to expect thick smoke and embers, which would reduce visibility and air quality

Anyone nearby, in streets north of Uriarra Road, was advised to flee towards David Campese Oval if it was safe to do so. 

‘Fire crews may not be able to protect you and your property. Do not expect a firefighter at your door,’ the ESA said.

Those stuck in their homes were advised to switch off the gas and air-conditioning and close windows and doors, sealing the gaps under doors and screens with wet towels to keep smoke out of the house. 

They should fill bath, sinks, and buckets with water so they have access to drinking and firefighting water, and shelter in a room with more than one exit, away from windows and doors. 

‘The safest spot is the place that will keep you furthest away from the intense heat from the fire,’ the ESA said.

‘Be aware of the location of the fire as it passes your house. Once the fire has passed, use your water supplies to put out spot fires.’

Canberra Airport said flights were not affected, but passengers should account for extra time in their plans. 

An emergency warning was issued at 5.39pm on Wednesday with anyone in Oaks Estate, Beard, and West Queanbeyan told it was too late to leave

An emergency warning was issued at 5.39pm on Wednesday with anyone in Oaks Estate, Beard, and West Queanbeyan told it was too late to leave

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