News State NT News Bushfires threaten dozens of properties south of Darwin

Bushfires threaten dozens of properties south of Darwin

The warnings come after firefighters battled a number of erratic spot fires in the rural Darwin suburbs. Photo: ABC News
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Emergency warnings have been issued on Sunday for two separate bushfires burning at Milne, near Dundee, south of Darwin and Humpty Doo in Darwin’s rural area.

A watch and act alert has also been issued for a fire burning at Berry Springs in Darwin’s rural area.

Bushfires NT says between 50 and 60 properties are under threat due to the blaze burning at Fog Bay Road in Milne, and the fire is spotting ahead of the front.

Properties in Dundee township in the vicinity of Dundee Road, Lavington Road, Serrata Road, Barramundi Drive, Javelin Road, Arius Road, Liza Road and Emperor Road are now being threatened.

In Humpty Doo a bushfire is burning on one or more fronts in the vicinity of Duff Road, Buckley Road, Hill Road, Wanderrie Road, Cattledog Court, Nolan Road, Kostka Road, Thomas Road and Powell Road.

Bushfires NT said it was “primarily undertaking defensive strategies to protect lives and property”.

Bushfires NT senior fire control officer Josh Fischer said people in the area of the emergency warnings needed to activate their bushfire survival plan.

“Emergency warning is the highest level of risk to you, and you may be in danger,” Mr Fischer said.

“Do not put yourself in any harm’s way.

“Any delay in taking action or seeking shelter may put your life at risk.”

Mr Fischer said the fire burning near Dundee “is very fast moving and very hot”.

“Due to the strong wind conditions the fire ground only has a width of about five to six hundred metres, and that is relevant to the very strong winds out there that have driven the fire in quite a straight line,” he said.

“At this point in time fire crews are trying to stop the head of the fire, and then they will work on both the southern and northern flanks to secure the fire.”

Mr Fischer said there had been no reports of significant property loss in the blaze, but said firefighters had been notified vehicles and other small structures might have been destroyed.

Local resident Julie Abdoo at the Sandpalms Roadhouse on Fog Bay Road said there was “billowing black smoke as far as you could see”.

“It’s a big front … the wind is horrible and changing direction,” she said.

“These winds are phenomenal … the helicopters are still water-bombing, but we’re not sure when it’s going to be under control.”

Ms Abdoo said 15 people had taken refuge at the Sandpalms Roadhouse due to the overwhelming smoke outside.

“They have come here because they can’t breathe because it’s really thick,” she said.

“We’re safe and we’ve got a lot of people here safe. They’ve evacuated some houses … the community is shaken.

“But everyone is safe … everybody is looking after each other.”

More than 15 firefighting crews and loaders are working to contain the fire with support from water-bombing helicopters, Mr Fischer said.

Fixed-wing water bombing aircraft were initially deployed to combat the blaze, but Mr Fischer said they were redirected after the fire intensity proved too strong.

The fixed-wing bombers have now been redeployed to the fire burning at Berry Springs.

The Berry Springs watch and act alert has been issued for residents in the vicinity of Cox Peninsula Road, Mira Road and Southport Road and adjacent communities.

Dry and windy conditions in recent days have created a powder keg situation across the Darwin rural area.

Firefighters on Saturday battled a number of erratic spot fires in the rural Darwin suburbs of Girraween and Howard Springs.Fire and emergency services remained on high alert on Sunday with strong winds forecast across the Top End.