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Bushfire in Canberra forced airport closure, flights halted

Arhama AltafWeb Editor

23rd Jan, 2020. 10:22 am
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Bushfire near the Australian capital Canberra forced the city´s airport to close on Thursday.

Bushfire results in passenger flights to be halted to make way for aircraft working to extinguish the blazes, authorities said.

High temperatures and strong winds fuelled an outbreak of new blazes across several areas in eastern Australia on Thursday.

It ended a period of respite following several days of rains and cooler weather.

The country has been battling an unprecedented wave of wildfires since September that have devastated communities and wildlife.

Flights to and from Australia´s capital suspended around midday Thursday “to allow for aviation firefighting operations”, a Canberra Airport spokesperson said.

It was unclear how long services would be impacted but the terminal has not been evacuated, she said.

The Australian Capital Territory Emergency Services Agency said the airport had closed due to current conditions.

An out-of-control blaze burning south of the airport upgraded to an emergency level just before midday.

The agency advised residents that it was “too late to leave” three suburbs in the path of the fire.

“The fire may pose a threat to all lives directly in its path,” the agency said in a warning.

“People in these suburbs are in danger and need to seek immediate shelter as the fire approaches.”

The fire has so far burned through more than 140 hectares, while a second out-of-control blaze has flared to the west of the airport.

Soaring temperatures and strong winds reignited bushfires in Australia’s southeast on Thursday.

It cloaked Canberra in hazardous smoke and forced the airport to close, after a few days of cooler weather brought some relief.

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