High temperatures and strong winds have once again caused new bushfires near the Australian capital of Canberra and on Thursday forced the airport to close down. According to reports, normal operations at the airport were disrupted to give space to emergency services aircraft to operate and help extinguish the flames.
Earlier, rains and cool weather had provided some relief fro the devastating bushfire by helping firefighters and emergency services bring several fires under control. However, a return of high temperatures and strong winds has seen a resurgence of bushfires. Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales were the regions that were the worst hit due to the fires that have devastated the continent since September 2019. The unprecedented wildfires have killed several people and burned nearly 20 million hectares of land and nearly 1 billion animals have perished.
Reports indicate that incoming and outgoing flights were affected around 1 pm local time on Thursday. The duration of the disruption remains unknown but the passengers were not evacuated from the terminal. According to the Canberra Territory Emergency Services Agency, the bushfire that was burning south of the airport quickly grew out of control due to high temperatures and strong winds and thus the fires threat classification was upgraded by emergency services. The people in the path of the fire were requested to evacuate immediately and seek shelter from the bushfire.
In the past the airport has also been used for ariel firefighting operations, this was the first time that the airport was shut down and normal flights were affected.
Canberra Airport terminal has not been evacuated. However, arriving and departing flights are affected. Please contact your Airline for up to date information.— Canberra Airport (@CanberraAirport) January 23, 2020