The state of emergency was declared for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) on Friday as officials warn of the “worst bushfire threat” in the territory in nearly 20 years.
“The combination of extreme heat, wind and a dry landscape will place suburbs in Canberra’s south at risk in the coming days,” ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr told reporters at a press conference on Friday. The Orroral Valley wildfire is spread to more than 45,000 acres—is raging to the south of the Australian capital city Canberra.
“This fire may become very unpredictable, it may become uncontrollable. So given the best advice available to me, I have just made the decision to declare a territory-wide state of emergency for the ACT,” he said.
The state of emergency—which provides emergency services with extra powers and resources—is effective immediately and will be in place for as long as the Australian capital city of Canberra is at risk.