An out-of-control bush fire continued to rage near the Australian capital, Canberra, on Saturday, with more than 35,000 hectares already burned.
According to authorities, the “Orroral Valley Fire” at Namadgi National Park, located between Canberra and New South Wales, is currently threatening homes in the capital’s southern suburbs.
“The fire is growing and it may become unpredictable,” Australian Capital Territory’s Chief Minister Andrew Barr told newsmen.
Emergency Controller Georgeina Whelan said the bush fire was generating its own weather pattern and was closing in on Tharwa, the southern-most suburb of Canberra.
“The fire may pose a threat to lives directly in its path, driving is extremely dangerous and may be deadly,’’ Whelan told newsmen.
The fire has already burned 15 per cent of the total capital territory area.
A major highway out of Canberra has been closed.
The bush fires in Canberra and nearby regions have been exacerbated by extremely hot and windy conditions, with temperatures exceeding 42 degrees Celsius. (dpa/NAN)